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MO Business Alert

Missouri Minute: Emerson Electric names new executives; Orscheln Farm and Home agrees to sale

Hello, MBA readers,

Lingering cold temperatures across Missouri continue to cause issues not just for the utility companies in the state’s largest cities, but also in smaller communities, like Fulton. The mid-Missouri town has spent more than $2 million on natural gas over a four-day span, paying more than 50 times its typical rate per unit. Elsewhere in mid-Missouri, Moberly-based Orscheln Industries has announced the planned sale of all 167 Orscheln Farm and Home stores to a Tennessee-based competitor, Tractor Supply Co. The companies said the deal is worth about $297 million. And, in the St. Louis area, Emerson Electric continues to reshuffle its executive roster. Following the recent announcement of its new CEO, the engineering and automation conglomerate has named a new chief operating officer and a new leader of its $11 billion automation division.


Stay alert

Tractor Supply to acquire Orscheln Farm and Home
In an all-cash deal valued at about $297 million, Tractor Supply is buying the Moberly-based farm supply retailer, which operates 167 stores in 11 states. (Columbia Missourian)

Emerson Electric names new automation chief, COO
Mark Bulanda will become executive president of Emerson’s automation division, the Ferguson-based conglomerate’s largest unit. He replaces Lal Karsanbhai, recently named Emerson’s new chief executive. Emerson also is elevating Ram Krishnan to chief operating officer. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Missouri House committee votes to forgive overpaid unemployment benefits
The plan to waive debts due to overpayment from federal coronavirus relief programs will likely be debated on the House floor next week. (Missouri Independent)

State House gives preliminary approval for take-home cocktails
The legislation would extend a policy adopted on a temporary basis in response to COVID-19, allowing restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages with carryout meals under certain conditions. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Attorney, business advocate Barrera to lead Kansas City SBA office
Michael Barrera used to work as a lawyer in the Kansas City area and has led the Kansas City and U.S. Hispanic chambers of commerce. (MBA)

St. Louis County eases restrictions on sports
Contact sports are now open to competitions and tournaments, as long as teams and spectators follow safety guidelines. County guidance on sports has fluctuated since the onset of COVID-19. (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC soccer complex plan advances to full city council
A plan to build a $37 million soccer complex north of the river in Kansas City moves to the full council, but it advanced “without recommendation.” (Kansas City Star)

FDIC picks St. Louis entrepreneur for chief innovation officer
Sultan Meghji, the founder of St. Louis financial startup Neocova, will join the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the newly created position. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Owners of Jack In The Box restaurants file for bankruptcy
One of the limited liability companies, Missouri Jack, owns 57 locations of the fast-food restaurant across the state. It listed assets and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Investment firm takes majority stake in Total Access Urgent Care
ICV Partners of New York became the majority owner of the St. Louis-based health care provider, which has 26 urgent care locations. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Jack Henry & Associates increases quarterly dividend 
The Monett-based financial software firm increased its dividend by 7%, paying $35 million to its shareholders. (Springfield Business Journal)

Lawsuits against builder of KC-area Hard Rock Hotel create uncertainty
The prospective builder allegedly failed to disperse contractually agreed upon funds. (Kansas City Business Journal)


Say that again

“This is really about how do we ensure that never, ever again happens? To do that, we’re making sure that we bring the best of our experience to manage the worst complexities and worst challenges that they have.”

That’s Ian Hardman, vice president and general manager of small business at H&R Block, speaking about the efforts of the Kansas City-based tax services company to assist Black-owned businesses in surviving the tough economic climate, The Kansas City Star reports. H&R Block has launched a new service, Block Advisors, which will offer free coaching to Black-owned businesses across the country. Early in the pandemic, it was reported that the number of active Black business owners had decreased by 41%, a trend that the company hopes to rectify. The new program will partner with the Urban League in order to enact the new services later this month.


Go figure

$2 million

The city of Fulton has paid more than $2 million for natural gas over a four-day span, KOMU reports. With the extremely cold temperatures, the mid-Missouri city of about 13,000 residents has been forced to use more gas than expected. On a typical day, Fulton reports gas costing about $3 to $4 per dekatherm, a unit of measure for natural gas. However, the city has paid about $224 per dekatherm in recent days. Fulton is not alone. Amid surging demand, natural gas supply across the country has been limited by frozen energy infrastructure and supply chains disrupted by the winter weather, The Kansas City Star reports.


Hello, my name is

Soulcentricitea

Nika Cotton imagined this tea shop, which she opened in midst of the pandemic, as a “love letter to Black women,” providing a space of free expression and social activism for women of color in the Kansas City area, The Kansas City Star reports. After assisting her friends in the creation of the Harvest Moon Boutique, which is a collective space for Black women to make and sell items, she set her eyes on creating Soulcentricitea, imagining a space that would foster discussion about social justice and disrupting systemic injustice. The shop offers teas and lattes named in honor of famous Black women, such as Zora Neale Hurston and Maya Angelou.


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Source: missouribusinessalert.com