Economy & Innovation | St. Louis Public Radio

Economy & Innovation

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

Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine | Flickr

Airbnb, the popular home-sharing and rental website, announced Wednesday it will begin collecting Missouri’s 4.2 percent state sales tax for its hosts. 

The company reached an agreement with the Missouri Department of Revenue to allow Airbnb to collect and remit the state sales tax for the company’s bookings, starting Feb. 1.

Closures of popular and long-standing St. Louis businesses began in late 2017.
Barry Schwartz | Flickr

It’s hard to say goodbye. But in 2018, St. Louis-area residents will have to get used to several long-standing businesses not being around anymore.

Retail retirement

The bad news for loyal J.C. Penney shoppers: The retail chain is permanently closing its St. Louis store in the Hampton Village Plaza shopping center. After nearly 70 years in business, the store's last day will be Jan. 21.

The good news for bargain hunters: A liquidation sale will begin on Jan. 2.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 18, 2008 - The Shady Oak theater has bowed to the wrecking ball. While some may see this as a time for goodbyes, I suspect that those who actually patronized the theater paid their last respects long ago.

Tax expert Lance Weiss talks  about actions people can take before the end of the year to minimize their tax liability for 2017.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

As we reach the end of the year, we talk to our go-to tax expert for tips. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to expert Lance Weiss, a CPA and partner with SFW Partners, LLC, about actions people can take before the end of the year to minimize their tax liability for 2017.

Weiss also addressed the new tax reform law that will affect next year’s tax liability.

Some suggestions for this year:

UPS estimates it will handle about 750 million deliveries between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. That's up five percent from 2016.
UPS

They watch homes in your neighborhood, looking for packages left on stoops and doorsteps. Before you know it, porch pirates swoop in and swipe your holiday deliveries.

Wayne Pratt (left) and Maria Altman (right) talk about the top business stories of 2017.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we did a year-in-review of the top business stories in 2017. Joining host Don Marsh for the discussion were St. Louis Public Radio’s business reporters Maria Altman and Wayne Pratt.

“It was a year of talking about stadiums,” Altman said. “It was kind of an interesting year in terms of sports teams and efforts to get great stadiums in St. Louis.”

Casinos in the region employ thousands and pay millions in taxes every year.
Ian Murphy | Flickr

A major shift in the national gaming industry will impact at least four casinos in the St. Louis region. Penn National is acquiring Pinnacle Entertainment in a nearly $3 billion deal.

Regulators still need to approve what would be the combination of two of the nation's largest casino operators outside Las Vegas. The companies employ thousands in the area and pay millions in taxes every year.

Many homeowners are using services like Airbnb to make some extra cash, while the option is becoming more popular among travelers
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The internet economy is a new challenge for communities throughout the region - how to deal with online home and room rental companies like Airbnb. For some property owners, listing vacancies online is an attractive way to make a buck or two. But several cities and towns are worried about the impact that attracting strangers will have on neighborhoods. 

Officials and dignitaries used ceremonial shovels to symbolically break ground on the second phase of Ballpark Village on Dec. 14, 2016.
Holly Edgell | St. Louis Public Radio

The second phase of Ballpark Village got underway Thursday, and, at the heart of it all, will be a luxury apartment building. The St. Louis Cardinals and development partner, the Cordish Companies, are betting that people will pay top dollar to live at One Cardinal Way, at the corner of Clark Avenue and South Broadway.

A nearby office tower will be the first Class A office building constructed in downtown St. Louis since Metropolitan Square opened in 1989. At the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III announced that PriceWaterhouseCoopers will be the lead tenant. 

Col. John Howard
375th Air Mobility Command

Updated 12-13-17 with new information

A commander at Scott Air Force Base is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct.

Colonel John Howard was relieved of duty as commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing on Monday.

The 18th Air Force Public Affairs office said Wednesday that the investigation is being led by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and that no more details would be released during the process.

Original Story published 12-12-17

The Evening Whirl keeps on spinning in St. Louis

Dec 5, 2017
The Evening Whirl bills itself as St. Louis' uninterrupted crime-fighting publication for over 79 years.
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

For nearly 80 years The St. Louis Evening Whirl has been reporting on crime in a way other news outlets wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do.

The weekly is sold in gas stations, convenience stores and by subscription for $1.50. Readers will find plenty of crime stories told in a distinct style, filled with slang and nicknames. Recent headlines have included “Prosecutor Seeks ‘Big Needle’ in Slaying of Pregnant Teacher” and “D-Boy Throws Bomb at Cops During Getaway.”

Melissa Hom

Danny Meyer remembers getting his driver’s license at 16 and going to his favorite places to eat in St. Louis, including Fitz’s Root Beer, Steak and Shake and Ted Drewes as a way of expressing his independence.

Meyer said his experiences growing up in St. Louis “120 percent” influenced his businesses later on in life. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to St. Louis native Danny Meyer, founder of the Shake Shack chain and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group.

Genevieve Barlow (left) and Jeff Stevens (right) talk about their craft beer company that only brews non-alcoholic beer.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

A new craft beer is joining the local market to cater to those who enjoy beer but want to train for a triathlon, attend their job’s Taco Tuesday or party Friday night and wake up without a hangover.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about Wellbeing Brewing Company, a local craft beer company that brews non-alcoholic beer.

(L to R) Jacqueline Jefferson, Robert Hawker and Jane Skinner joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

An international program with a presence in St. Louis is helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities find employment.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with disabilities are much less likely to be employed: only 27 percent of women aged 16-64, and 34 percent of men in that age group. That’s compared with 68 percent of women and 79 percent of men without disabilities.

In addition, The Arc, a disability rights organization, estimates that the employment rate for people with developmental disabilities is even lower.

Opponents to an expansion plan have launched a petition drive and put up signs in yards in the neighborhood around Aberdeen Heights in Kirkwood.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

The debate in a west St. Louis County suburb over the proposed expansion of a senior living community could be over early in the new year. That's when the Kirkwood City Council could make a decision on whether the owners of Aberdeen Heights can move forward with plans to add a multi-story apartment building on its 20-acre complex.

Owners say the expansion is needed to keep up with demand, while a group of neighbors has several concerns about the project.

St. Louis soccer fans will have to wait for the next round of MLS expansion to see if the city can secure a team in the nation's top-level professional league.
Victor Araiza | Flickr

St. Louis is no longer being considered as an option for the current round of Major League Soccer expansion. League Commissioner Don Garber announced Wednesday that Sacramento, Detroit, Nashville, and Cincinnati are the only cities still in contention to land the two new franchises. The revelation did not surprise some St. Louis soccer supporters. 

The Jamestown Mall Dillards in December 2016.
Mike Kalasnik | Flickr

Officials from St. Louis County held an open house Monday night to give north county residents a chance to offer suggestions on what should replace the shuttered Jamestown Mall.

The mall located in Florissant, closed  in 2014. in Florissant, Missouri. Opened in 1973, the mall formerly included Dillard's, JCPenney, Macy's, and Sears as its anchor stores.

County officials said they will soon have complete control of the site. The St. Louis County Port Authority is expected to close on the last two parcels on the property by the end of the year.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

There will be another attempt to pass a payday loan bill during next year's legislative session in Jefferson City. State Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, is planning to refile a proposal he submitted earlier this year but did not receive a hearing. It would place limits on how often a payday loan can be renewed and how much money a person is allowed to take out at one time.

File Photo | Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis could become one of the next fronts in the battle between large and small beer companies.

A nonprofit group representing independent brewers is trying to slow acquisitions by larger corporations, like Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has been on a purchasing binge of the past few years, buying several prominent craft beer companies including Goose Island, Breckenridge and Wicked Weed.

Widjaya Ivan | Flickr

Ameren is working to address the rising number of sham calls that have impacted roughly 1,500 of its customers. The utility company has racked up nearly 30 calls a week from people who have reported being on the receiving end of the ruse.

According to Ameren, the scam callers have been impersonating their employees, claiming they will disconnect the customer’s service unless they make an immediate payment.

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