Business

BYU-Hawaii Enactus students hold their 2015 championship trophy.
Enactus | provided

Updated May 19 with winning team — The La Sierra University Enactus team was chosen as the 2016 National Champion.

Two thousand college students from all across the country are in St. Louis through Tuesday for a socially-minded business competition called the Enactus National Expo.

The Enactus university teams are the winners of their regional expos and are competing for the title of national champion by presenting their projects to corporate executives who evaluate the impact of their work.

Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh discussed the year in business happenings in the area — from Cortex to coal to NGA — with the reporters who know the subject best.

Fashions R Boutique owner Juanita Morris sets out merchandise in her new Florissant location, after her original store burned in the riots following the Darren Wilson grand jury decision in November 2014.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

When riots broke out in Ferguson and Dellwood last year following the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown-Darren Wilson case, Juanita Morris' business of 28 years burned to the ground.

In one night, Morris lost the building that housed Fashions R Boutique and almost all of her inventory. But she vowed to rebuild, even in the face of what she called “some dark days.”

Energizer Bunny
Energizer Holdings Inc.

St. Louis-based Energizer Holdings Inc. is splitting into two companies. The complicated move was announced in April 2014 and takes effect July 1.

It is the beginning of a new chapter for a company that dates back more than 100 years with the Wilkinson Sword brand razor.

Caleres Logo
Courtesy of Caleres

When it comes to a successful company, having a significant brand is essential to generating business. It is often a key factor in setting one business apart from another.

After 137 years, the historic Brown Shoe Company in St. Louis changed its name to Caleres. With the help of Brian Collins, executive creative director and founder of Collins, a brand consultancy company, Caleres decided to rebrand itself with new ambitions in mind.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership website

The global manufacturing company Emerson is upping its investment in the Ferguson community to show "renewed commitment" to the place it has been headquartered for 70 years.

"We choose to be here and are committed to this community, especially now in its increased time of need," chairman and CEO David Farr said in a press release. "We...want to help remove barriers so that more of our neighbors can succeed."

General Motors

General Motors says it will add a third shift and about 750 new jobs at its Wentzville Assembly plant in early 2015.

The new shift will help build two new midsize pickup truck models, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. It will also produce the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, which GM describes as solid sellers.

"It's our belief that this is a long-term add for the plant and a very bright future for all the people working here," said plant manager Nancy Laubenthal.

Thousands of early orders

(courtesy of the St. Louis Media History Foundation)

A local media history group has acquired nine issues of the region’s first bi-lingual business paper.

 The St. Louis Media History Foundation announced on Monday that it had purchased the copies of El Comercio del Valle from a private collector.

El Comercio del Valle — the Commerce of the Valley — began publishing in St. Louis in 1876 and was distributed all along the Mississippi River, said Frank Absher, the executive director of the foundation. The first publisher would eventually become the Mexican Consul in St. Louis.

(© Randall Hyman)

In his book “Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming,” author and freelance journalist McKenzie Funk moves the conversation on climate change beyond whether or not it is happening to focus on people around the world who are finding ways to profit from it.

Erin Williams

Fast food workers and supporters donned ponchos and held signs today as they rallied for change in the Central West End as part of the STL Can’t Survive on $7.35 campaign.

Protesters marched between Arby’s, McDonald’s, and Domino’s Pizza as they seek a pay increase for employees to $15 an hour and the right to unionize without backlash.

One of the protesters was Kenta Jackson, a shift leader at Church’s Chicken who makes $8.50 an hour. She didn’t tell her manager she wouldn’t be at work, but isn’t worried about the repercussions.

Erin Williams

Students at Roosevelt High School were recognized for their participation in the Regional Bank Financial Scholars program. The students completed a web course that taught the basics of money management, and received certificates in an assembly that included remarks made by State Treasurer Clint Zweifel.

Zweifel, who hails from North County, feels that the program helps to not only lay a financial foundation for the present, but also teaches the benefits of making good choices for the future:

The site Under30CEO has included St. Louis on its 2013 list for Best Cities for Young Entrepreneurs. St. Louis sits at number 5 in the "Medium Cities" category (for cities with populations between 250,000 and 500,000). Two other Missouri cities made the list: Kansas City at number 4 in the same category as St. Louis - along with college town Columbia, Mo. at number 2 in the small cities category.

Wikimedia Commons

Bank-On Save-Up is a new program aimed at giving individuals and families access to bank accounts. It is part of a nationwide initiative  aimed at helping underprivileged families build financial independence.

The project is being administered locally by a group called the St. Louis Unbanked Taskforce.

(Sydney Miller/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two outlet malls are racing to build in what some say is one of the most valuable retail areas in America -- the Chesterfield Valley. If both are built, the companies would compete with each other, the Chesterfield Commons strip mall and the nearby Chesterfield Mall, risking financial failure.

Sydney Miller examines what it is about the Chesterfield region that makes it so attractive.

(via Flickr/breahn)

The St. Louis County Economic Council is opening the doors to its new biotech incubator on Monday afternoon and the agency says it will serve as a launching pad for biotech businesses.

Officials say The Helix Center Biotech Incubator is a 17,000 square foot facility loaded with lab and office space with a prime location next to the Danforth Plant Center.

Entrepreneurial efforts are nothing new to the council, which runs four other incubators in the region.

(via Flickr/Indofunksatish)

Police to step up weekend presence on Washington Ave.

St. Louis police will be out in force on Washington Ave. this weekend in an effort to address the concerns of businesses and residents of the popular entertainment district.

(via Flickr/The Confluence)

"When they aren't moving, they aren't creating any revenue."

It’s around 8:30 on a chilly morning and workers are starting their day at America’s Central Port on the East Saint Louis side of the Mississippi River.

Under a steady drizzle they blast clean barge hulls with massive power washers.

In a suit and tie the port’s Executive Director Dennis Wilmsmeyer is a sharp contrast to bearded workers wearing Carhart overalls.

He takes a wide stance on top of barge that rocks back and forth.

Ten grants are up for grabs for new businesses that set up shop in St. Louis. A local non-profit, Arch Grants, says it will award the $50,000 grants this May in an effort to bring innovative businesses to the city.

Arch Grants Co-founder Joe Schlafly said the for-profit start-ups that are selected will be required to stay for at least one year.

“St. Louis is not a dog-meat, down place," Schlafly said. "It is a place where things are happening. We’re open for business. We want to be on the short list, not just [on] no list.”

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Updated 3:47 p.m.:

A package of tax breaks for Illinois businesses made it through a legislative committee despite major concerns by lawmakers.

The House Revenue Committee approved the measure 6-0 Monday. But two important legislators said they may oppose the bill when it comes up on the House floor.

The package would cost state government about $250 million a year. That's down from $850 million in an earlier proposal.

(via Flickr/David_Shane)

The Supreme Court of Missouri has rejected a constitutional challenge to a 2010 law that put strict limits on the way businesses like strip clubs and adult bookstores can operate in the state.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a business incentive bill passed by the House has widened the differences with the Senate in a special legislative session.

Nixon said Tuesday that he prefers the Senate version of the legislation but hopes lawmakers can still settle their differences and send him a bill.

Republican senators were to meet privately later Tuesday to discuss the legislation passed last week by the House.

(via Flickr/dbking)

A Missouri House committee has advanced legislation offering new incentives for some businesses and international exporters.

The vote Wednesday by the House Economic Development Committee could pave the way for the full chamber to debate the bill Thursday.

The plan creates incentives for computer data centers, amateur sports events and air cargo exports at the St. Louis airport. It also scales back some existing tax credits, but not as much as proposed under a version passed last month by the Senate.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

RCGA: Economic impact of first-round playoffs $5.2 million

The St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association says the economic impact of the Cardinals in the first-round playoffs approaches $5.2 million per game, based on the typical game drawing a capacity crowd.

The association says that if the Cardinals played all possible games through the World Series, the impact would approach that of having the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis at more than $56 million.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of new restrictions on strip clubs, adult video stores, and other adult businesses.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The Missouri Department of Economic Development will use $50 million in bond money to help Joplin-area manufacturers recover from the May 22 tornado.

Gov. Jay Nixon was in Joplin Friday to announce $75 million in awards and modifications of existing programs aimed at helping business and industry in the Joplin area. Two-thirds of that funding comes from Private Activity Tax Exempt Bond capacity that has been set aside to aid the region.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The state of Missouri says the number of people missing or unaccounted for since the Joplin tornado is now at 156.

Missouri Department of Public Safety deputy director Andrea Spillars said Friday that officials are working 24 hours a day to trim the list that stood at 232 a day earlier.

Here is a link to the updated list of those unaccounted for.

(via Flickr)

Arch Coal Inc. says it's started $14.60 a share tender offer for rival International Coal Group.

Arch says the offer that started Monday expires June 14.

The St. Louis-based coal industry giant agreed to buy ICG for $3.4 billion May 2.

The deal is designed to exploit growing demand for high-priced coal used to manufacture steel. Arch says the combined companies would be the nation's second largest supplier of metallurgical coal.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois businesses waiting for long-overdue tax refunds aren't getting any good news from the state capitol.

Illinois owes about $850 million to roughly 36,000 businesses that overpaid their income taxes. Some have been waiting since 2008 to get their money.

Gov. Pat Quinn proposed borrowing money to pay the refunds, but legislators have shown little interest in that idea.

Budget proposals being considered by Democratic lawmakers would do little to chip away at the backlog.

A view of the outside of the Peabody Energy building in St. Louis.
St. Louis Public Radio

Peabody Energy Corp. says its profit rose in the first quarter due to higher prices for Australian coal used in steelmaking and increased demand in the U.S.

The world's biggest private-sector coal company says its net income attributable to common shareholders was $176.5 million, or 65 cents per share, in the January-March period. That's up from $133.7 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier.

St. Louis-based Peabody says first-quarter revenue rose 15 percent to $1.74 billion from $1.51 billion the previous year.

(via Flickr/Seabamirum)

The "Mancession" of 2009 is finally giving way to a "Mancovery." But the jobs picture for women is going in the opposite direction.

Check out this feature about gender asymmetry in the jobs "recovery" from our own Adam Allington. It aired on Marketplace Morning Report today.

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