Missouri Minute: Greene County COVID hospitalizations hit new high; furniture chain expands to KC

Hello, MBA readers,

Southwest Missouri hospitals have hit an unwanted milestone. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Greene County earlier this week surpassed the county’s previous high for hospitalizations, recorded in December. There were 251 COVID-19 patients admitted to Greene County hospitals as of Monday. Tuesday brought more promising numbers of another sort in St. Louis, where a new headquarters is expected to mean investment and jobs. Meat producer Deli Star announced it will make its new home in the city, bringing an expected 475 jobs and nearly $100 million in capital investment. Across the state, a Kansas City-area designer has seen a big boost in business from a cameo on the small screen. Three KC, which makes Kansas City-centric gear, has experienced a bump in demand since its apparel appeared on the hit comedy “Ted Lasso.” Jason Sudeikis, a native of the Kansas City area who plays the lead role in the Emmy-nominated show, has worn apparel from Three KC, which is owned by his childhood friend.

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Deli Star to open new St. Louis HQ
The meat producer said it will bring 475 jobs to Missouri with the move, which represents a nearly $100 million capital investment. (MBA)

Bob’s Discount Furniture to enter KC market
The Connecticut-based home furnishing retailer is coming to the Kansas City area with two locations. (Kansas City Star)

Husch Blackwell to expand into New England
The Clayton-based law firm is opening offices in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, as part of a merger with Summit Health Law Partners, an 11-attorney firm specializing in health care. (St. Louis Business Journal)

St. Louis entrepreneur sells one business, launches another
Dale Oestreich has sold Precision Restorations, one of the nation’s largest classic car restorers, and plans to start a new business brokerage and consulting firm, Business Services Inc. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Schmitt is top fundraiser for Missouri Senate seat
On the Republican side, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt raised the most out of any candidate during the last quarter, with $1.3 million. U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler was No. 2, with $890,000. Democrat Lucas Kunce tallied $630,000. (Associated Press)

KC philanthropist Annette Bloch dies at 94
The wife of H&R Block co-founder Richard Bloch died Saturday. (WDAF)

Health insurer GEHA announces new CEO
Arthur Nizza will take over to lead the Lee’s Summit-based nonprofit member association. He was most recently an executive with UnityPoint Health. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Say that again

“There’s so many COVID patients. They’re on so many different units. They’re everywhere.”

That’s Dr. Rachel Keech, a St. Louis-area physician deployed to help treat COVID-19 patients at Mercy Hospital Springfield, discussing the high number of hospitalizations in southwest Missouri. On Monday, Greene County, where Springfield is located, recorded a new high for COVID-19 patients hospitalized, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. There were 251 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county, surpassing the previous high of 237 seen in December. On the eastern side of the state, health officials have issued “hot spot” warnings for three counties with high case counts. They say rising case numbers generally reflect low vaccination rates and the spread of the delta variant of the virus.

Go figure

$3.5 billion

Hallmark Cards reported consolidated revenue of $3.5 billion for 2020 in a fact sheet posted on its website, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The data set offered a rare glimpse at the financials of the private company, which formerly released an annual financial summary but gave up that practice a few years ago. Hallmark’s $3.5 billion in revenue marks a dip from the $4 billion figure the private company has cited recently. The fact sheet also showed a decrease in headcount for the Kansas City-based greeting card company — to 27,000 associates total and 2,000 at its headquarters, down from 30,000 and 3,000, respectively.

Hello, my name is

Three KC

That’s the name of Brendan Curran’s Kansas City-area apparel company, which has recently had some of its gear featured on the Emmy-nominated Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso,” The Kansas City Star reports. Curran is a long-time friend of Jason Sudeikis, who is a native of the Kansas City area and plays the show’s title character. In the first episode, Sudeikis sported a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “JoeArthur Gatestack,” a blend of the names of four iconic Kansas City barbecue restaurants. Curran says that the name for his apparel company is inspired by the “three kings of Kansas City” — the barbecue, the Royals and the Chiefs.

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


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