Missouri Minute: Rural counties see spike in COVID-19 cases; OneDigital makes eighth acquisition of year

Hello, MBA readers,

The May jobs report released Friday showed improvement over sluggish April hiring, but it still offered evidence that U.S. employers are struggling to fill open positions as the economy recovers from the pandemic. U.S. payrolls added 559,000 jobs in May, lowering the unemployment rate to 5.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, economists say the middling job gains don’t match other indicators of an economic recovery. In other pandemic news, about 100 miles northeast of Kansas City, Linn and Livingston counties are seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases that has led to multiple hospitalizations. The recent spike is being attributed to new variants of the virus. Local health officials, having difficulty pinning down a specific hotspot, note that residents must work with them to keep case numbers down. The two counties have similar vaccination rates of around 34%, significantly lower than the rate of 41.8% statewide and 50.8% nationally. In financial news, OneDigital has another acquisition under its belt. The investment advisory announced it is bringing on the assets of Fiduciary Plan Advisors. This acquisition — OneDigital’s eighth so far this year — adds $6 billion in assets.

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US adds 559,000 jobs in May as hiring challenges persist
The national unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1% the month before as hiring picked up slightly in May after a sluggish April. Still, companies experienced difficulties filling openings as the economy recovers from the pandemic. (Associated Press)

St. Louis to consider one-time unemployment supplement
The city may give one-time payments of up to $500 to roughly 10,000 residents who face reduced unemployment benefits due to Missouri cutting off supplemental federal aid. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Rep. Vicky Hartzler hints at Senate run
The Republican representing Missouri’s 4th Congressional District said in an email that she will make an announcement next week. (Associated Press)

St. Louis Development Corp. gets new leader
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones appointed Neal Richardson as the economic development organization’s new executive director. He will replace Otis Williams, who announced retirement plans earlier this year. (St. Louis Public Radio)

OneDigital makes eighth acquisition of the year
The investment advising firm acquired the assets of Fiduciary Plan Advisors, adding $6 billion in assets under advisement. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Bayer to review legal options for Roundup cases
The agribusiness company said it will reassess alternatives for handling tens of thousands of lawsuits, many of them in the St. Louis courts, which claim that the weedkiller caused cancer. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC law firm opens St. Louis office
Shook Hardy & Bacon opened the office on Thursday, employing nine local environmental lawyers enticed away from St. Louis-based firm Capes Sokol. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Goedeker’s completes public offering, acquisition
The Ballwin-based online appliance and furniture retailer acquired New York-based Appliances Connection in a $210 million deal. It helped finance the deal with a $205 million public offering. (St. Louis Business Journal)

City Foundry developer to make contribution to affordable housing
A $1.8 million donation will go to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, as specified in a deal with Alderman Tina Pihl and Mayor Tishaura Jones’ administration in exchange for $18 million in development incentives. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Cortex names executive for diversity and inclusion
Natalie Self has been named the vice president of equitable economic impact and will lead the innovation district’s new diversity and inclusion strategy. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Van Gogh exhibit coming to St. Louis
Tickets for “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” go on sale Friday. The exhibit will be housed at the St. Louis Galleria from Sept. 16 to Nov. 7. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Go figure


That’s how many Missourians applied for one of the 400 permits the Missouri Department of Conservation is issuing to hunt black bears, bringing in more than $63,000 in revenue, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. More than 9,700 people applied for elk hunting permits, with only five permits available, generating more than $97,000 in revenue. This will be Missouri’s first season of black bear hunting.

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The McClatchy Co., the parent company of The Kansas City Star, voluntarily recognized the Kansas City News Guild, the union formed by the Star’s journalists. The guild was first formed in early May. McClatchy’s announcement was met with appreciation and expressions of pride from guild members on social media.

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Stealth Data

This Kansas City-based tech startup is offering companies a closer look at their website traffic, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The company’s tools are designed to reveal information about anonymous website users, including names, contact information and even more specific data like employment details. Co-founder Kevin Puckett says Stealth Data’s software fills in important blanks left by other sources of website analytics, like Google. Though such a product may spark privacy concerns, co-founder Chad Sneed isn’t worried. He says popular sites like Facebook are known for their collection of user data, proving that users are willing to sacrifice privacy for convenience online.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning. Have a fabulous weekend.


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