Missouri Minute: Mike Pence lauds small business during St. Louis visit; SSM Health gives first look at SLU Hospital

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Pence talks small business, health care during visit to St. Louis

Vice President Mike Pence told a Missouri crowd small business is the “beating heart that creates prosperity and growth.” Pence spoke Wednesday at Fabick Cat, a company in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton that rents, sells and services Caterpillar equipment. The 1,100-employee company celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Read more

SSM reveals first look at new SLU Hospital

SSM Health released renderings Wednesday providing the first look at its new $550 million SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. The facility includes more than 800,000 square feet of space and 316 private patient rooms. Construction is scheduled to begin Aug. 31 and be completed in September 2020. Read more

Missouri lawmakers vote to slash unemployment benefits

The Missouri House on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to a plan that would cut the amount of time people can claim jobless benefits to one of the shortest periods in the country. Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, proposed the measure, which would shorten the benefits period for laid-off workers from 20 weeks to 13 weeks if the unemployment rate is below 6 percent. Read more

MC Sports files for bankruptcy, will close five Missouri stores

Sporting goods chain MC Sports is shuttering all of its stores, including five locations across Missouri. The Michigan-based company, known legally as Michigan Sporting Goods Distributors, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. The retailer has stores in Branson, Columbia, Springfield, St. Joseph and Warrensburg. Read more

Garmin fitness segment drives more revenue than auto for the first time ever

Best known for its automotive GPS systems, Garmin Ltd. is steadily gaining ground with its wearables. For the quarter ending Dec. 31, the Olathe, Kansas-based company saw another quarter of double-digit growth in its fitness and outdoor segments, which house many of its smart watches. It also marked the first time Garmin’s fitness segment outpaced its automotive segment, bringing in just over $274 million in net sales. Read more

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