Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

A tractor trailer from Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis brewery will be hard to miss.

The trucks have gone green, both literally and figuratively.

The beer giant announced Tuesday that it’s converted 97 diesel tractor trucks to compressed natural gas. To highlight the change, all of the trucks now sport a bright green exterior and Anheuser-Busch’s “Seed to Sip” logo.

Supporters of raising St. Louis' minimum wage listen to testimony Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With the clock ticking, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen was scheduled to tackle legislation on Tuesday morning that would raise the city’s minimum wage. 

This bill stokes passion on both sides of the issue, and is likely being monitored around the region and across the state.

Vicki Sauter holds her book, "You're Never Too Old to Surf."
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Recent data collected by the Pew Research Center shows that while the proportion of Internet-using senior citizens is increasing, older Americans lag far behind their younger counterparts in adopting technology that seems inextricably tied to modern life.

From left to right, Andrew Weil, Lance LeComb, Bill Schnell, and David Lott.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The collapse of the 155-year-old Cutlery Factory building on Laclede’s Landing last week may have been a freak event, but along with the two-year closure forecast for rebuilding the Kingshighway bridge, it has raised legitimate questions about the sustainability and strength of St.

One of the United Way of Greater St. Louis' donations in the aftermath of the events in Ferguson went to providing boxes of food to area families impacted by the unrest.
Courtesy of United Way of Greater St. Louis

Updated at 5:20 p.m. on Wed., August 19 - A detailed accounting of donations aimed at helping Ferguson shows that Emerson Electric's Charitable Trust is providing more that $8 million in mostly new funding, with major contributions also coming from the United Way of Greater St. Louis and Deaconess Foundation.

The three organizations provided St. Louis Public Radio with a clearer picture of what programs their donations supported and how funding decisions were made.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro readies himself to announce $26 million in federal funds to St. Louis County.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide more than $26 million to St. Louis County for residential and commercial development.

It’s the second time in recent months HUD made a high-profile resources-related announcement in the St. Louis area.

Kevin Kliesen, Business Economist and Research Officer,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Many Midwest farmers will be feeling the effect of this summer’s abnormally wet weather for the rest of this year and into 2016. A new agricultural survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis suggests farmer income will continue to take a hit into next year in part because of the delayed planting of soybeans and the inability to bale hay.

Joshura Davis joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Since last August, local business owners have provided the nation with an alternative narrative of Ferguson and neighboring Dellwood.

MoDOT

Apparently it's never too early to prepare for winter.

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it's looking for new drivers in the St. Louis area to help plow snow from roads this winter.  The state agency is currently looking for 26 full-time and 55 seasonal drivers.

Convention and visitor business in the St. Louis region appears to have bounced back following a rough period after last year's violence in Ferguson.

(St. Louis Community College 2015 Workforce Report)

St. Louis’ economy is doing well, but employers are having a harder time finding skilled employees.

Those are among the findings in the 2015 State of St. Louis Workforce Report released by St. Louis Community College on Wednesday.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

The burned-out buildings are gone, but one year after Michael Brown’s death the scars at local businesses along West Florissant Avenue are still apparent.

At Zisser Tire & Auto Service in Dellwood there is plywood on several windows. Owner John Zisser said he’s just waiting on a city permit to change the window configuration.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The latest figures show Missouri revenues are down in some key categories.

The state collected roughly $506.9 million last month, compared to $512.9 million in July 2014, a drop of 1.2 percent.  State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says it's due in part to fraud prevention measures at the federal level.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

The city could pay developer Paul McKee for his redevelopment rights, as well as his land, if the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency chooses the north city site.

St. Louis Development Corporation executive director Otis Williams confirmed that this week. He told St. Louis Public Radio the city is negotiating with McKee over both.

Ameren is not moving forward with plans for a second reactor at its Callaway Nuclear Power Plant in mid-Missouri near Fulton. Ameren's application for a second reactor at Callaway was filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2008.  But funding issues hampered the project. State lawmakers have balked at the utility's efforts to allow Ameren to charge customers for the facility as it was being built.

During a conference call Friday morning with analysts, Chief Executive Officer Warner Baxter cited several reasons for the decision to pull the plug.

Martin Luther King Bridge connects Illinois and downtown St. Louis. It was built in 1951.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis—still a flyover city?

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments just released a “Where We Stand” report documenting St. Louis’ place on the list of the top 50 metro areas in the United States.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

(Updated at 12:20 pm July 30, 2015 with Arch Coal quarterly results)

St. Louis-based Arch Coal has followed Peabody Energy this week in posting a significant quarterly loss. The company says its net loss widened to $168 million, compared to roughly $97-million for the same period a year earlier.
(Read the Arch Coal earnings report)

"Arch continues to weather the significant market challenges facing the industry," said Chief Executive Officer John W. Eaves.

Mo. Dept. of Agriculture

The home of the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia is about to get a nearly $4 million upgrade, thanks to legislation passed this year.

The bulk of the renovations will take place at the state fair coliseum and the Womans Building, both of which are more than a hundred years old.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission postponed voting Wednesday on proposals that could clear the way for UberX and other transportation network companies to operate in the city and county.  

Provided by Boeing

Look closely and you’ll notice a kangaroo on the side of the sleek gray fighter jet and a boomerang on its tail.

This EA-18G Growler, produced at Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security headquarters in St. Louis, has all the markings to show that it's headed to the Royal Australian Air Force.

Sparo Labs co-founders Abby Cohen (left) and Andrew Brimer (middle) spoke about entrepreneurship in St. Louis with Arch Grants' executive director Ginger Imster (right).
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Sparo Labs is a good poster child for where entrepreneurial spirit can take you in St. Louis. Co-founders Andrew Brimer and Abby Cohen went to Washington University together—Brimer is a St. Louis native, and Cohen moved from Michigan—and generated the idea for their product, the Wing, in their last year of college.

Alex Ihnen (left) and Mary Ostafi (right) joined host Don Marsh in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

A couple of initiatives in downtown St. Louis are changing the way that St. Louis’ old buildings are preserved—by transforming them.

Flickr/Shane McGraw

Some crops in Illinois are under water. Some have yet to be planted.

After the wettest June on record, officials in Illinois with the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week they’re seeking a federal disaster declaration to help farmers with flood-damaged crops.

"This has been the absolute worst spring for getting anything done that I’ve seen in 40 years of farming. It seemed like just as the ground was drying up, it’d rain again," said Greg Guenther, who farms east of Belleville.

Uber staff help potential drivers with the ride-sharing company's application process during recruitment event in the Central West End.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

UberX says it will recruit 2,000 new drivers in the first year after local regulators permit the company and other smart-phone-based ride services to operate in St. Louis.

To spread the word and garner support, Uber has teamed up with St. Louis branch of the NAACP, the St. Louis Agency of Training and Employment (SLATE) and the employment initiative Ferguson 1000.

Raymond Evans,left; Paul Jordan, right
Alex Heuer

Every day, billions of internet users are inevitably vulnerable to hackers from across the world.

While regular citizens are susceptible to attacks, so is the government. Professionals at Scott Air Force Base are tasked with ensuring our systems are secure and some of those airmen are passionate about cybersecurity outside of work, and on a personal level.

futureatlas.com | Flickr

If you’ve noticed lower gas prices when filling up, you are not imagining things.

GasBuddy.com's most-recent survey shows the average price for a gallon in the St. Louis region is about 20 cents lower than a week ago.

A rendering of the Maplewood Tim Hortons, which opened in June 2015.
courtesy Show Me Hospitality LLC

(Updated at 10:55 a.m. July 14, 2015 with result of Board of Aldermen vote)

Plans for a Tim Hortons restaurant in Town & Country are uncertain following a rejection by city leaders.

The Board of Aldermen has voted against the request to place one of the donut, bakery and coffee shops in the suburb west of St. Louis.

Officials with Show Me Hospitality, the St. Louis-area franchisee for Tim Hortons, tell St. Louis Public Radio they are not sure about the developers’ plans moving forward.

courtesy National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Buy it and they will come.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved a measure Friday to take a $20 million loan in order to buy land within the proposed site for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The loan will use one--- possibly two---city buildings as collateral. The measure passed with a vote of 18-9 with one abstention.

The NGA, however, will not choose among four possible locations in the St. Louis region until next year.

(courtesy Masonry Association)

The Bank of Washington has loaned developer Paul McKee at least $34 million for his Northside Regeneration project, and possibly as much as $62 million.

The series of 17 loans from the Washington, Mo., bank was made to several of McKee’s holding companies and to Northside Regeneration between 2006 and 2012. The bank, by its own calculations, now holds more than 1,500 parcels as collateral, or about 78 percent of Northside Regeneration’s real estate in St. Louis.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

It was a much different scene than 11 months ago at 9420 West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.

The parking lot of the former QuikTrip was ground zero for protests in the days following Michael Brown’s death on August 9. The burned-out shell of the store and graffiti was a reminder of the looting and violence that descended on the street.

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