Missouri Minute: State surpasses 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses; Ameren reports earnings increase

Hello, MBA readers,

Despite delays due to harsh weather conditions in the past week, Missouri passed the milestone of 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, according to the Missouri Hospital Association. That includes 700,000 Missourians who received the initial dose and 300,000 who received the booster. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of last week’s frigid temperatures and soaring energy prices, Gov. Mike Parson has asked Missourians to report any instances of suspected natural gas price gouging. And, staying in the energy sector, the state’s largest power provider reported improved profits for 2020. St. Louis-based Ameren said its earnings increased 5%, to $871 million, despite a drop in demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The earnings uptick was largely attributable to newly approved electricity rates for the utility.


Stay alert

Parson asks Missourians to report suspected natural gas price gouging 
Gov. Mike Parson acknowledged “supply issues” resulting from extreme cold in recent days, but he said suspicious activity should be reported to the state attorney general’s office. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri surpasses 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
About 700,000 Missourians had received an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Saturday, while more than 300,000 had received the booster. The state reached that milestone despite winter storms delaying the shipment of 6 million vaccines nationwide. (KOMUMissouri Independent)

Ameren earnings rose 5% for 2020 
The state’s largest power company reported increased annual profits of $871 million. Ameren saw lower energy consumption amid the pandemic but was boosted by higher electricity rates. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Kansas City Council approves $36 million soccer complex
Despite objections about building a soccer complex during the pandemic, the city will proceed on the project in partnership with Sporting Kansas City. Construction could start as early as this spring. (Kansas City Star)

Democrats ask Missouri Gaming Commission to release report
Members of the House Budget Committee are requesting access to a report on licensing investigations, but the gaming commission says the report, which cost $395,000, is a closed record. (Missouri Independent)

McCarthy Holdings moves headquarters
The construction company moved to a larger space in St. Louis County after more than 50 years at its old location. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC-area architecture firm rebrands
Hoefer Wysocki has changed its name to Hoefer Welker to recognize the contributions of President Rob Welker. (Kansas City Business Journal)

iBossWell acquired by former Blue Cross, Federal Reserve exec
Wayne Powell has acquired the Overland Park, Kansas-based strategic planning and organizational development company. (Kansas City Business Journal)

UMB Bank exec leaves for Emprise Bank
Mary Lucas left Kansas City-based UMB after 14 years to lead the Wichita-based bank’s wealth management division. (Kansas City Business Journal)


Say that again

“I get a lot of DMs from girls, saying how they’re nervous about starting in the video production industry. My main thing is just to start doing it. You can learn even without any experience.”

That’s Amber Baulder, who co-founded Stellar Image Studios (SIS) with her sister, Jasmine Baulder, citing the advice she gives to novice female videographers who are a part of her free videography program. The SIS Hands-On Workshop is a seven-week course that was launched in January to help build participants’ skills and eventually create a pool of freelancers and employees for the Baulders’ business, Startland News reports. The workshop imparts both technical and business skills.


Go figure

5,938 

That’s how many apartment units were built in the Kansas City metro area in 2020, according to a report by NorthMarq, a real estate finance firm. That is the highest number added since at least 2014, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. NorthMarq has predicted a lower rate of inventory growth in 2021. The area has more than 6,000 apartments that are under construction and due for delivery in 2021 or 2022. Downtown Kansas City has been the busiest part of the metro area for new apartment construction.


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The St. Louis County government has declared that Juneteenth will be an official county holiday, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Juneteenth, observed on June 19, commemorates the abolition of slavery in the U.S. Last year, public offices and some private companies in the county remained closed to commemorate the holiday. The news comes in the midst of Black History Month.


Hello, my name is

Hoffmann Family of Companies

This Florida-based company announced a pair of acquisitions Friday as part of an effort to transform Augusta, Missouri, into a national wine destination, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The company, founded by Washington, Missouri, native David Hoffmann, has acquired the Augusta and Montelle wineries as part of a planned $100 million investment in the area. Ultimately, Hoffmann aspires to create the largest vineyards in the Midwest.


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