Twelve energy companies pitched their businesses "Shark Tank"-style at Ameren’s headquarters in St. Louis on Monday. The companies, from around the world, are all vying for a spot in the 12-week Ameren Accelerator, which this year focuses on smart cities. The winning companies — up to nine — will also each receive a $100,000 check.
SLPR Economy and Innovation
Trade is no doubt an integral part of many industries and Missouri is no exception. International trade and investment support hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state. To help foster even more of that, Missouri Governor Mike Parson recently embarked on his first trade trip to Europe – with stops in France, Germany and Switzerland. Further east of Europe, China is also a major player when it comes to foreign investment in Missouri. But the recent national trade war with China has negatively affected trade and hits regional farmers the hardest. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air , St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann discussed trade and tariffs as they pertain to Missouri and the country with David Meyer, senior lecturer in management in the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.
The U.S. remains the only industrialized country that does not provide some form of universal paid family leave. Many American workers continue to have to choose between maintaining their livelihood and caring for loved ones. There is some momentum in Congress to potentially change that, and meanwhile policy varies widely at the state and employer levels. In the St. Louis region, some organizations are recognizing the positive impact that paid family leave can have, and that trend is the focus of a free Tuesday evening panel titled The Future of Family Leave . On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air , St. Louis Public Radio editor Holly Edgell talked with several guests who are participants in that event: Angela Louis, director of administration for Simon Law Firm; Lisa Picker, executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis; and Missouri Sen. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur).
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2009 - As of this writing, former financial genius Bernard Madoff sits in the clink awaiting sentencing for defrauding investors of about $50 billion-$65 billon. His attorneys have appealed his incarceration, arguing that justice would be better served were he allowed to reside in his penthouse during this transitional period rather than in a facility designed for less accomplished criminals. Thus far, the judiciary has been unsympathetic.
Through the doors of the Magic House at MADE, kids are testing rocket launchers, designing video game characters and learning how to use 3D printers. This new satellite location on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis is a recent expansion from the children’s museum’s flagship in Kirkwood. What’s different is the focus on entrepreneurship. “MADE stands for makers, artists, designers and entrepreneurs, so we’ve divided our space into those four areas,” says Beth Fitzgerald, president of The Magic House.
While water levels are beginning to drop along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, heavy flooding has led to the closure of many roads leading into small river towns and nearly 100 miles of the Katy Trail. This time of year, John Benz’s campground along Highway 94 in Rhineland is normally packed with Katy Trail bike riders. But, flooding from the Missouri River led to the cancellation of the annual Katy Trail Ride and the closure of the highway. As a result, Benz said business has been down about 90%.
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 9, 2009 - Supporters of a project to restore some of St. Louis' storied trolleys to the Delmar Loop area told the public Wednesday that the project had the power to boost the local economy and spur development. Backers are proposing a fixed-track trolley system that would run down Delmar, starting at Trinity Avenue, and turn south on DeBaliviere Avenue to the Missouri History Museum. At a public forum Wednesday at the Regional Arts Commission, backers said the system would also boost tourism and provide a clean, sustainable form of transportation there. About 100 people attended the forum.
Inside Good Life Growing’s newest urban garden, co-founder James Hillis is using an iPad to pull up maps of the city. The urban agriculture organization is trying to reduce food insecurity in north St. Louis, and mapping tools help him figure out where to plot new grow spaces. Hillis’ maps look fairly simple, but they’re powered by Geographic Information Systems data that pulls in all kinds of factors about the local community.
Updated 4:57 p.m. May 29 with comment from Pam Boyd, D-27th ward — A plan to implement the voter mandate to reduce the number of wards in St. Louis is underway. Exactly how it will be done, though, is still up in the air. Alderwoman Heather Navarro, D-28th ward, chairs a yet-to-be-formed advisory committee that will design a transition plan to go from 28 wards to 14 by 2023. While the redrawing of ward lines will be left up to the Board of Aldermen, Navarro’s advisory committee aims to study how the smaller group of aldermen would equitably deliver city services, among other things. That committee was meant to deliver a report on ward reduction by the end of May. The committee, however, has not yet been assembled. Navarro says that’s because she wanted the process to be as inclusive and transparent as possible.
The growth of the geospatial industry in St. Louis is catching national attention. The city has been selected to host the GEOINT Symposium in 2023 and 2025. The event, held annually by the United States Geospatial-Intelligence Foundation, is the largest gathering of geospatial-intelligence stakeholders. It brings in roughly 4,000 attendees each year. St. Louis currently has more than 10,500 jobs in the geospatial sector, according to figures calculated by the St. Louis Development Corporation. The agency says the total economic impact is $4.9 billion.
So far this year, the St. Louis Blues have generated nearly $4 million in city revenue. And now that the hockey team is headed to the Stanley Cup Final , the city expects an extra financial bump. That’s according to estimates from St. Louis Budget Director Paul Payne. He said the city will predominantly benefit from direct revenue brought in from sales taxes on tickets. Indirect money from spending on things like concessions, parking, restaurants and hotels will also contribute to the city’s budget. “I’d estimated back at the beginning of the playoffs you’d see the three games would probably be somewhere in the area of $300,000, which would go up with each succeeding series,” he said.
Before the death of Michael Brown Jr., entrepreneur Ohun Ashe said she did not see many black-owned businesses in her community. In 2014, Ashe was in the streets of Ferguson and St. Louis protesting the killing of Brown. She recorded video footage of scenes between police and protestors and even the moment when she was arrested and thrown into a paddy wagon. Once demonstrations died down, Ashe was determined to understand her role in the protests. It was not until 2016 when Ashe envisioned providing the St. Louis community with an online black business directory, ForTheCultureSTL.com .
A high-profile development in University City is back on track. A new deal for a project at Olive Boulevard and I-170 between the city and Novus Development will be presented next week to the city council. A previous deal between the two fell apart this year after a consulting firm made a mistake about how much revenue the city would receive through a special taxing district. The latest deal was reached after months of negotiations and calls for a $70.5 million tax increment financing district to support the project. It includes $15 million over 20 years from the developer to help residents in one of University City’s poorest areas. “During the last housing crisis, housing prices, particularly in St. Louis and University City as well, took a significant hit,” said University City Mayor Terry Crow. “Most all of University City has recovered from that crisis except for the neighborhoods that are north of Olive,” he added. The new deal involves a lower upfront payment from the developer,
A series of bills introduced at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting on Friday aim to hold elected officials accountable to stricter ethics standards. Alderwoman Megan Green, D-15th Ward, is one of six sponsors of the bills. Two of the proposals mirror state-level ethics legislation Clean Missouri . The constitutional amendment limits lobbying gifts to $5, among other things. Last November, it passed with 62% voter approval state-wide and 80% approval in St. Louis. Green said that shows St. Louis residents want to see more accountability from their local government officials.
When consumers hear the words, “Made in the USA,” Jon Lewis wants them to think, “Made in St. Louis.” That’s the broader mission of the construction of a new $5 million garment-manufacturing facility in St. Louis’ Grand Center neighborhood, which was announced at a media event on Thursday. Lewis is the CEO of Evolution St. Louis, which he co-founded with fellow fashion veteran John Elmuccio. The 32,000-square-foot facility will bring in more than 50 jobs over the next three years.
After many months of planning and construction, the owners of a unique project in north St. Louis are now calling the completed space home. Gina and Travis Sheridan moved into their house, which is made out of nine steel shipping containers and located in the Old North neighborhood, several weeks ago. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air , the Sheridans joined guest host Ruth Ezell to discuss what went into the effort and share what they’re enjoying most about their distinctive new abode.
Brandon Bosley doesn’t want anything to do with the St. Louis Port Authority. He’s been vocal about that fact. Last week, the 3rd ward St. Louis alderman introduced a bill putting that into writing. If passed, the bill would exempt his northside ward from any possible expansion of the Port Authority. It’s a preemptive measure that comes just a month after a bill that would have broadened the Port Authority’s jurisdiction on the matter stalled . It would have expanded the power of the Port Authority from just 19 miles along the Mississippi River front to the entire city.
Women make up just a fraction of professional basketball referees, coaches and owners. A St. Louis woman is doing her best to change that. Khalia Collier is owner and general manager of the St. Louis Surge , the region’s only professional women’s sports team. In her eighth season at the helm of the team, Collier is also the newest commissioner of the Global Women’s Basketball Association , a league of five teams that creates a space for players to have careers beyond collegiate, amateur and professional play.
The St. Louis assessor’s office on Friday sent out letters to the owners of 235 properties listed on Airbnb, informing them that their property value — and taxes — are going up. The properties have been reclassified from residential to commercial, taking their property tax rate from 19% to 32%. St. Louis Assessor Michael Dauphin said his office combed through hundreds of properties listed on Airbnb to find ones they believe are commercial enterprises, where the owner lives off-site. They found that the owners of more than half of the reclassified properties live outside of St. Louis, in states as far as California, Colorado and Arizona.
The Better Together plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County was polarizing, but there was one aspect that many acknowledged would have been a big win for the region — a single vision for economic development. Now the question for many economic development leaders is how to move forward with that vision with Better Together being put on hiatus this week. Experts say that under the status quo, the regional economy has lagged for more than a decade, in part because economic development groups have spun in circles using tax incentives to compete for the same business.