Economy & Innovation

Billion Dollar Impact
9:16 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Companies Investing More in St. Louis Minority-Owned Businesses

Ed Bryant speaks during the St. Louis Minority Business Council Lunch Program on June 12.
Credit Parth Shah

Local companies are buying more and more goods and services from minority vendors. That's according to the St. Louis Minority Business Council, a coalition of local corporations and minority-owned businesses.

The group launched the “Billion Dollar Impact” project back in 2011 with an initial goal of increasing spending by a billion dollars by July 2014. Over the past three years, companies in the St. Louis region have spent more than $1.4 billion on contracts with minority-owned businesses, exceeding expectations by over $400 million.

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Innovation Centers
4:24 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Cambridge Innovation Center Is Starting Bigger (And Sooner) In St. Louis

CIC St. Louis will not just be housed in the @4240 building in Cortex. It's also taking over management and operations of the Center for Emerging Technologies at 4041 Forest Park Ave.
Credit (Courtesy Cortex)

The expansion of the Cambridge Innovation Center to St. Louis is taking on bigger dimensions than originally planned.

CIC is well known for providing space and services to startups in the Boston area. It's attracted hundreds of startups and established tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook since its founding by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999.

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St. Louis on the Air
6:13 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

The Winners and Losers Of Raising The Minimum Wage

Fast-food workers protesting outside the Wendy's on Gravois Road in south St. Louis in May 2014.
Credit Jess Jiang/St. Louis Public Radio

After the city of Seattle voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour earlier this month, the discussion over the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage continues to heat up. In Missouri, the minimum wage is $7.50 an hour, 25 cents higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Most can agree there will be winners and losers if a wage increase happens in Missouri, but who the losers would be and the overall effect on the economy still remain up for debate.

Lindenwood University economist Howard Wall is against raising the minimum wage.

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Economy & Innovation
5:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Report On Rise Of Innovation Districts Highlights St. Louis

Credit (Courtesy Cortex)

A new report out released Monday by the Brookings Institution on "innovation districts" prominently features St. Louis' Cortex.

The Rise of the Innovation District: A New Geography of Innovation in America looks at several of these areas in both Europe and the U.S. It defines the districts as "geographic areas where leading-edge anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with start-ups, business incubators and accelerators."

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Metro
1:41 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Metro's Big Buses Roll Onto Busy Grand Route On Monday

Metro's 60-foot buses will make their debut on Monday.
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

Jordan Wilson saw the No. 70 Grand Line’s capacity issues firsthand.

The north St. Louis County resident is a regular rider on Metro’s buses. When he rode the Grand Boulevard line, it was filled to the brim.

“I can see that it’s already packed, and the need is already there,” Wilson said.

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Food festival
10:43 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Horseradish Roots Run Deep In The Metro East

Farmer Jeff Heepke stands in a horseradish field near Roxana, Ill. His great-grandfather brought roots from Germany.
(Mary Delach Leonard, St. Louis Public Radio)

There's a pretty good chance that the jar of horseradish you have in the refrigerator has its origins in farms located just across the river from St. Louis.

St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois produce the lion's share of horseradish in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just 16 growers in Illinois harvest horseradish from 1,779 acres, accounting for about 60 percent of the nation's horseradish. Nationally, only about 3,100 acres are in horseradish production.

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Consumer Protection
5:05 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Koster Reaches Accord With Walgreens Over Mismarked Prices

Attorney General Chris Koster says the state's agreement with Walgreens will make sure the company stops overcharging consumers.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Attorney General Chris Koster reached an agreement with Walgreens regarding overcharging consumers. 

Koster sued the pharmacy giant last year, contending that stores around the state were charging more than the prices displayed on shelves. His office’s lawsuit stated that the company was violating the state’s consumer-protection laws by “engaging in false, misleading and deceptive advertising and pricing schemes.”

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Transportation Tax
4:08 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Road Construction Tops Ring Counties' Wish Lists

Credit File photo

Three St. Louis area counties would focus on road and highway construction if a 0.75 percent transportation sales tax increase passes later this summer. 

This week, four area counties plus St. Louis turned in their preliminary lists of projects that could be funded over a 10-year period with the transportation tax. They're working with East-West Gateway to formulate a list of projects to send to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

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Transportation Tax
4:34 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Area Counties Ready Project Wish Lists; Nixon Opposes Tax Increase

St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis revealed their wish list for transportation projects Monday that would be funded by a potential .75 percent sales tax.
Credit /Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari

The city of St. Louis and St. Louis County have plans for nearly $1.1 billion worth of transportation projects if a statewide sales tax increase passes this August. 

St. Louis and St. Louis County officials revealed their wish list of projects that would be funded with the .75 percent sales tax increase.  If the transportation tax passes in August, St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties and  the city of St. Louis, are expected receive about $1.49 billion over a 10-year period from the state’s transportation commission.

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Youth
1:46 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

Young Entrepreneurs Plant Sweet Potatoes in Missouri Botanical Garden

Participants and supporters of the Sweet Potato Project plant seedlings at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Saturday.
Credit St. Louis Public Radio

Sweet potatoes planted by St. Louis teens now have their own plot in the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Young members of an effort called the Sweet Potato Project planted seedlings on Saturday, joined by Garden leaders and other supporters. The project teaches teens from north St. Louis how to grow sweet potatoes sustainably, mainly in vacant lots, and then how to brand and sell sweet potato products.

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