Economy & Innovation

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

Monsanto
St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 2:05 p.m. April 12, 2011:

Reuters has now updated its story to indicate that a buyout is not in the plans:

Germany's BASF SE (BASFn.DE) has no plans to buy global biotech seed company Monsanto Co (MON.N), sources with knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday.

Rumors that a buyout was imminent sent shares of Monsanto Co (MON.N) up as much as 4 percent while shares of BASF, the world's largest chemical maker, fell 2.8 percent to 62.59 euros.

via Flickr/KellyB.

A new report says Missouri's March unemployment rate fell by three-tenths of a point to 9.1 percent.

Monday's report from the state Department of Economics also says Missouri employers added a net of more than 24,000 jobs last month.

The hospitality and leisure sector had the biggest gain, adding about 6,300 jobs, while retailers added 5,800 jobs. Other notable increases were construction, with 4,200 jobs added, and business and professional services, up by 2,700 jobs.

(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.

(Chiodini Associates, architects, and AxiOme, design consultant)

Want to see more images of the new building's design? Check out a full gallery on Posterous.

Groundbreaking has been set for St. Louis Public Radio and the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ new home in Grand Center.

The public radio station’s general manager, Tim Eby, confirms that work will begin on the site just east of KETC public television on Friday, April 15. The three-story, 27,000-square-foot building is expected to take one year to complete.

(via Flickr/_J_D_R)

Next Tuesday, St. Louis City voters will vote on Proposition E.  If the proposition passes, the city will retain its 1 percent earnings tax.  If the proposition fails, the tax will be phased out over the next ten years.  Supporters and critics of the earnings tax disagree on many things, including how the tax affects the economic vitality of the city and how prominently the tax figures into people’s decisions to live or work in St. Louis.  But many agree on this: no replacement for the earnings tax is in place and a transition to any combination of alternatives could prove painful.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 5:09 p.m. March 28, 2011 with additional reasons for leaving the board:

The St. Louis Business Journal reports other reasons for Busch's departure:

"For personal and health reasons August Busch IV has decided not to seek re-election at the annual shareholders meeting," A-B spokeswoman Marianne Amssoms said.

As updated 3:30 p.m. March 28, 2011:

The former CEO of Anheuser-Busch Cos., August A. Busch IV, will be leaving the board of Anheuser-Busch InBev following the annual shareholders' meeting, Bloomberg News reports:

The world’s largest brewer will ask investors on April 26 in Brussels to approve Olivier Goudet, chief financial officer of Mars Inc., and Paul Cornet de Ways Ruart as directors for a four-year term, according to the convening notice published on the company’s website. Goudet and Cornet will replace Jean-Luc Dehaene and Arnoud de Pret on AB InBev’s board, which will have 12 members following the departure of Busch.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via the Associated Press, reports that the move is unrelated to the negative publicity surrounding Busch since the death of his girlfriend from a drug overdose late last year.

Busch's board seat was always considered a courtesy after Anheuser-Busch was sold to InBev in 2008, as InBev's board went to 13 seats from 12 previously. It will now revert to 12. Busch's term had always been scheduled to end next month, the newspaper said.

 

(via Flickr/Bernt Rostad)

"Chicago's Craft Beer" is the tagline gracing the top of the website of Goose Island Beer Co., but, with an announcement today involving St. Louis fixture Anheuser-Busch, that tagline of origin may become a little muddled.

(via Flickr/zappowbang)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is citing an Anheuser-Busch InBev can plant subsidiary in suburban St. Louis for several violations after two accidents in which employees suffered amputations.

OSHA said Wednesday that one worker at Metal Container Corp. in Arnold lost fingers in machinery. A second lost a foot in a forklift accident.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 1:10 p.m.  March 22, 2011 with comment from Nixon.

Missouri is receiving $27 million in federal money to boost small business growth and job creation.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative supports state-level, small business lending programs and is part of the Small Business Jobs Act signed by President Obama last fall.

(via Flickr/pasa47)

AT&T Inc. is about to become the largest cellphone company in the U.S. The company says it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion.

Right now AT&T is the second largest wireless carrier, behind only Verizon Wireless. AT&T expects its acquisition to take a year to close.

(via Flickr/Daniel Leininger)

Data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics brings both positive and negative information to light about unemployment in the St. Louis Mo. - Ill. Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Some areas of industry gained jobs, while others lost, and, though the unemployment rate for the area in January 2011 was slightly higher than the national average, total employment in the area has gone up slightly over the past year.

(Missouri Senate Website)

Missouri lawmakers are expected to debate controversial right-to-work legislation this week.

One bill would prohibit closed-union shops, in which all employees must pay fees for union representation. The Senate sponsor is Republican Luann Ridgeway of Smithville.

(via Flickr/Robert Scoble)

Updated 2:12 p.m. March 11, 2011 to include Overstock.com information.

Amazon.com has made good on its threat to cut ties with Illinois affiliates because of a new law requiring the online store to collect sales taxes.

Amazon notified its Illinois partners Friday that it will stop doing business with them on April 15. It calls the tax law "unconstitutional and counterproductive.

(via Flickr/e-MagineArt.com)

The former chairman and CEO of St. Louis-based KV Pharmaceutical Co. has pleaded guilty to two federal charges of misbranding drugs.

The U.S. Attorney's office says that 69-year-old Marc S. Hermelin entered the pleas Thursday. He was sentenced to one month in prison and a $1 million fine and agreed to forfeit $900,000 to the federal government.

KV Pharmaceutical manufactured generic prescription drugs, including a pain relief and opiate drug called morphine sulfate.

(via Flickr/public.resource.org)

Illinois consumers may find themselves paying sales taxes on some Internet purchases under a new state law.

The law says sales taxes must be charged when people buy from online retailers through an Illinois-based partner. For instance, an Illinois business might sell products through Amazon.com.

Online businesses generally don't charge state sales taxes. Illinois customers are supposed to pay it directly to the state, but they rarely do.

Late last week, Joe Edwards announced that he’s stepping down as the Chairman of the Loop Special Business District after 30 years leading the board.  He stopped by St. Louis on the Air today to chat about his decision and what’s next for the six-block district along Delmar that’s been designated “One of the 10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association.

(via Flickr/aka Kath)

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host the last open house tomorrow to answer questions about the high-speed rail project between St. Louis and Chicago.

The public meetings, which began March 1, are aimed at answering questions about a recent environmental study. The study evaluates the impact of adding a second track to the high-speed route.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri’s exports grew by 35 percent last year, and the state’s governor is visiting several businesses today to spread the news.

Governor Jay Nixon stopped at Volpi Foods this morning, a family-owned business on The Hill in St. Louis, which exports dry-cured Italian meats to several countries.

(via Flickr/Robert S. Donovan)

Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a 24 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits today, the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

And what are the numbers behind the drop? According to the Business Journal:

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy announced today that it will keep its headquarters in downtown St. Louis for at least another 15 years.

Peabody is a Fortune 500 company employing more than 600 people in St. Louis.

The company had been offered a package of $10 million in Federal New Market tax credits to fund upgrades to their downtown high-rise.

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