Missouri Minute: St. Louis to look at lower tax breaks; GM Fairfax plant idles 1,000 positions

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

To grow revenue, city of St. Louis looks at lower tax breaks

Amid the ongoing debate to reform St. Louis’ use of tax incentives, a key economic development office appears to be paring back its use of property tax abatement in an effort to maximize revenue. The St. Louis Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority’s staff is now recommending some projects in rebounding neighborhoods pay at least some new taxes after redevelopment wraps up. It’s part of the overall effort to rethink how the city does development assistance, local officials say. Read more

GM’s Fairfax plant in KCK will eliminate one shift; layoffs to idle 1,000

Slumping sales of the Chevrolet Malibu have led General Motors to eliminate a production shift at its Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas, which will mean layoffs of about 1,000 workers. GM will reduce the number of production shifts from three to two beginning in late September, a GM spokeswoman said. Read more

Could Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods bring the future of food shopping to Midwest?

Amazon’s planned purchase of Whole Foods could improve food delivery in Missouri — if the e-commerce company can solve the challenge of “last-mile” delivery. Food is Amazon’s final frontier, according to David Portalatin, an industry analyst with NPD Group, a market research company. On Friday, Amazon announced it will purchase Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Read more

Missouri doctor now leads one of the nation’s most influential medical organizations

Dr. David Barbe, a small-town doctor who practices in rural Missouri, is now the leader of the nation’s largest physician organization. Barbe, a longtime family physician who graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s medical school, was sworn in last week as president of the American Medical Association at the organization’s annual meeting in Chicago. His tenure at the AMA comes at a tumultuous time, as Republican lawmakers are looking to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which could result in millions losing health care coverage, according to some estimates. Read more

Minority- and woman-owned businesses face challenging process to apply for targeted contracts

Since 2007, state expenditures on work done by minority-owned firms have risen 6.9 percent, topping $138 million in fiscal year 2016, according to the Office of Equal Opportunity. State funds going to women-owned firms increased 1.3 percent in the same time period to $53.6 million. Despite the trend, a review committee said in January 2015 that “there is still much work to be done to eliminate the lingering effects of discrimination and ensure a level playing field for all Missouri business owners, especially minority- and women-owned businesses.” Read more

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