Business

Business Beat
6:01 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

For small business owners, election highlights key issues

Daniel Finke moved his company Finspeed into this 12,000 square foot building in Moberly thanks to a tax abatement from the city.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

By most accounts, Missouri is a pink state.

Not red. Not blue. Pink.

But, when thousands of small business owners in Missouri were asked which candidate was more supportive of small business, 35 percent chose President Barack Obama, 24 percent picked Gov. Mitt Romney, and 41 percent said they were unsure. (That’s from a recent George Washington University and Thumbtack poll.)

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Business Beat
5:37 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Campaigns focus on small business but not farm bill

Small business owner Daniel Finke of Moberly says fair trade is the most important issue to him this election when it comes to his company.
Credit Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Countdown to Election Day is upon us.

And while business development continues to surge as a hot topic this campaign season, the expired farm bill seems to have disappeared off candidates' radars completely. Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer has this report on just how much candidates are talking farm policy...in farm country.

By most accounts, Missouri is a pink state.

Not red. Not blue. Pink.

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2:22 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Columbia startup secures $1.2 million in venture capital

Lead in text: 
Columbia software startup Zapier won the first ever Columbia Startup Weekend and rode that success all the way to Silicon Valley. When I last spoke to the trio, they had finished a mentorship program at the Y Combinator in California and were confident about the future. When I last spoke with Zapier in late September, I asked founder Wade Foster if he was talking with investors. He would say only "our biggest thing is just getting back to work and growing the product and user base." Now Zapier is hiring their first employee and pouring resources into the next iteration of their web-based services.
As Zapier wrapped up its three-month stint in seed accelerator Y Combinator earlier this year, the founders of the Columbia, Mo.-born startup fielded ample advice on how to handle funding. "We heard, 'Get fundraising done as fast as possible. Don't worry about it. You want to finish it, and ...
Business
8:49 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Cape Girardeau casino opens two months early

stopnlook FLICKR

Missouri’s newest casino, the Isle of Capri Casino, opened Tuesday morning in Cape Girardeau two months ahead of schedule.

Isle of Capri president and CEO Virginia McDowell lauded  her company’s efforts to build the casino so quickly and hire local workers.

“We had 9,000 applications for jobs, and we picked the 700 best people you are going to meet when you go through those doors," McDowell said. "And I am proud to say 80 percent of those people live within 50 miles of Cape Girardeau."

The project cost $135 million.

Business
2:55 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Keeping Sandy's Economic Impact In Perspective

A truck drives through a flooded street caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City's Financial District on Tuesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 9:32 am

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast on Monday, the fragile U.S. economy was just sitting there, stuck in a sluggish-growth mode.

Now, as the massive cleanup begins, business owners, workers and investors are wondering what impact the megastorm ultimately will have on their wallets. Did Sandy weigh down economic activity enough to drown the recovery? Or will the rebuilding efforts boost growth over the longer term?

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Business
4:48 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Early homecoming football game may impact downtown Columbia businesses

Karen Mitchell KBIA Sports Extra

MU's morning homecoming football game this weekend may have a negative economic impact on downtown Columbia businesses.

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Business
3:35 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

MoDOT to complete bridge campaign ahead of schedule

File photo MoDot

The largest bridge rebuilding program in Missouri’s history will soon be finished more than a year ahead of schedule.

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Business
8:17 am
Thu October 25, 2012

MU, Missouri S&T partner to research small modular nuclear reactors

The University of Missouri and Missouri S&T entered a partnership with Westinghouse Electric Company to determine safety guidelines for small modular nuclear reactors.

This research supports a proposal from Westinghouse and Ameren Missouri that seeks $452 million in Department of Energy grants to build a small nuclear reactor near Fulton. The reactor could bring 400 jobs to mid-Missouri and would power 45,000 homes. Missouri has the potential to become a hub of small reactor manufacturing and distribution.

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Business
5:20 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Low interest in Mamtek leftovers at Mo. auction

Keith Burtis Flickr

An auction of assets left from a failed artificial sweetener factory in Moberly is drawing curious onlookers but few big buyers.

The auction of Mamtek U.S. property drew more than 20 prospective bidders Wednesday morning to a Moberly hotel ballroom, joined by online participants.

Buyers sought deals on individual pieces of equipment owned by Mamtek, but no one submitted a bid for the company's real estate or its intellectual property.

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Business
5:05 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Child hunger program faces big challenges, setbacks

File Photo KBIA

Missouri isn’t a place normally associated with child hunger.  Still over 56,000 kids qualify for the Buddy Pack Program.  The program sends a backpack of nutritious food home students from low-income families every weekend.

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Business Beat
4:23 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Fighting for food

This lucky lot of produce beat its weed nemeses back at the farm.
File Photo KBIA

When it comes to the business of food, there’s a rivalry around every corner. You’ve got fights for prime farmland, wars over water use, even buying food at the grocery store has its competition with household bills encroaching on family budgets for the shopping list.

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Business
7:59 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Mamtek leftovers go on sale at Moberly auction

File Photo Flickr

The northern Missouri artificial sweetener plant project that turned sour when its financing collapsed last year is holding an out-of-business sale.

Mamtek U.S. received $39 million of industrial development bonds from the city of Moberly and could have earned up to $17 million of state tax incentives to build the factory. Construction ceased on the partially complete factory after Mamtek missed a bond payment in August 2011. Former CEO Bruce Cole faces fraud and stealing charges and remains in the Randolph County Jail awaiting trial.

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Business
8:46 am
Tue October 23, 2012

TransCanada restarts Keystone pipeline

L.C.Nøttaasen FLICKR

TransCanada has restarted the Keystone oil pipeline that carries about 590,000 barrels of crude oil each day from Canada to facilities in the Midwest.

Oil began flowing again Monday afternoon. Company spokesman Shawn Howard says the system will be operated at a slightly reduced pressure for about 24 hours. Contractual delivery levels will resume in November.

TransCanada had shut down the pipeline Wednesday after tests showed possible safety issues.

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Business
5:09 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Columbia Regional Airport passenger traffic, 2000-2012 [infographic]

Simon_sees Flickr

Since 2000, airlines have come and gone at Columbia Regional Airport (COU), changing in the number of passengers passing through the airport. This graph shows the total number of passengers who arrived or departed on commercial aircraft at COU since 2000.

Click on a letter to see which airlines came or went at that particular time.  All numbers and events took place during the month listed, although the graph will denote that time as the first of the month.  Use the scrollbar at the bottom to change the view of the graph.

Business
4:53 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

New air travel options take off in Columbia

File Photo KBIA

The Columbia City Council unanimously approved a new plan with American Airlines for new routes to Dallas and Chicago from Columbia Regional Airport.

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Business
5:44 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Delta Airlines threatens to leave Columbia air service market [infographic]

Delta cuts flights to Columbia's regional airport
thisisbossi Flickr

A representative from Delta Airlines said that if the Columbia City Council approves an airline expansion agreement with American Airlines, Delta will seek to exit the Columbia air service market.

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Business
5:40 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Jane Lago selected as University of Missouri Press consulting director

Jane Lago has been selected as  the new consulting director for the University of Missouri Press.

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Business
2:52 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Department of Housing and Urban Development cuts funding for Columbia

KBIA file photo

For the past two years, housing rehabilitation projects in Columbia have been decreasing.

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Business
11:38 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Heart of Missouri United way targets the causes of poverty

Heart of Missouri United Way announced its new funding recipients Wednesday as part of its Community Impact model, which will shift focus from assisting those living in poverty to targeting causes of poverty.

Eight new agencies will receive funding next year, and some agencies will lose funding as Heart of Missouri United Way seeks to reduce need in poor communities, not just fill it.

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Business
8:18 am
Thu October 18, 2012

43 new jobs coming to Holts Summit within the next few years

Bigstock image

Pro Food Systems Inc. is planning to add 43 jobs within the next five years at its operation in Holts Summit.  The new headquarters will have three components: a breading and blending facility, a logistics service center and print companies.  The company said it will invest $6 million dollars into the new headquarters.

Missouri Department of Economic Development Spokesperson John Fougere said the Department used tax credits and other incentives to encourage Pro Food Systems into expansion.

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Business
8:02 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Mo. insurance department fields 26K complaints

_J_D_R_ Flickr

Missouri's Insurance Department says it has recovered $7.7 million so far this year for consumers. The money comes from customers with complaints about their insurance companies or coverage.

The department said through September of this year, it has fielded more than 10,000 written inquiries and complaints – and more than 16,000 phone calls from customers.

Often complaints have to do with denial of claims and processing delays. Most of the problems reported have to do with health insurance, followed by auto and homeowner coverage.

Business
5:52 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

City officials looking for neighborhoods to test roll carts

Columbia is setting up the neighborhoods that will test the roll cart program in early 2013.
File Photo KBIA

Columbia’s pending move to a roll-cart, trash-collection program is moving forward with a few changes to the original plan.  Currently the city is identifying ideal neighborhoods in which to test the roll cart program.  Public Works’ Solid Waste Utility Manager Richard Wieman says the new system will be cheaper and pick up more trash on a daily basis.

“(The) industry is just moving away from manual collection, due to one, the safety issues I mentioned, the cost issue, and we’re just kind of going, taking a look at that program and see if it will fit for Columbia,” he says.

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Business
5:49 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Food distribution company expands operations in Holts Summit

Pro Food Systems Inc. is planning to add 43 jobs within the next five years at its operation in Holts Summit.

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Business Beat
5:22 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

From field to fork to refuse

Did you wash that melon first?
Amber Luckey Flickr

Flip on the TV, boot up the computer or switch on the radio and you’re destined to hear about a recall of tainted food – often due to E. coli or salmonella.

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Business
12:41 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Micro-businesses showcased at Columbia fair

"A Tastefully Simple representative stands in front of a booth at the Micro-business Fair and Reception on Tuesday Oct. 16, 2012."
Ryan Shiner KBIA

Small businesses don’t always get to showcase their work, but in Columbia, they had the ability to network with other businesses at the Microbusiness Fair and Reception Tuesday.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce put on the fair at the Stoney Creek Inn. Chamber President Don Laird said this gives businesses an opportunity to network. 

“The main thing that we had hoped was for those who were participating, to gain access to some new knowledge, some new products," Laird said. "Anything someone else is doing to give them a chance to be able to see what else is out there.”

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Business
7:23 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Mo. unemployment rate reaches lowest point in nearly 4 years [INFOGRAPHIC]

File Photo KBIA

According to the latest jobs report from the state [pdf], the number of jobs created in Missouri is going up, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in nearly four years. Some of the greatest growth was in the construction industry.

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Business
2:50 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Missouri adds 2,500 jobs in September

File Photo KBIA

Missouri payrolls increased by 2,500 in September as the state's unemployment rate declined to 6.9 percent, the lowest mark since late 2008.

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Business
6:11 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

"Tentative agreement" for flights to Dallas, Chicago from Columbia Regional Airport

clarkmaxwell Flickr

Columbia Regional Airport has a tentative agreement with American Airlines to offer two daily flights to Dallas, and one flight a day to Chicago, Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid announced Thursday.

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Business Beat
5:18 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Growing biomass for biofuel, money for retirement

Big blue stem is one type of native grass farmers are growing on marginal land in the central U.S. for biofuel.
Kristofor Husted KBIA

Remember in the film Night of the Living Dead when the protagonist, Barbra, is running through the grassy hills to the forlorn farmhouse to escape her lumbering zombie of a brother?

Well, while recently reporting for Harvest Public Media, I spent time on farmland that looked eerily similar to the backdrop of George Romero's black and white magnum opus.

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Business
8:25 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Osage Sierra Club takes action against Aspen Heights

File Photo KBIA

Once again, controversy surrounds the development of Aspen Heights. The student living complex is being built at the location of the old Regency Mobile Home Park.

Aspen Heights broke ground earlier this year. But, Osage Group Sierra Club Conservation Chair Ken Midkiff says the company violated a city ordinance. He says after a recent visit to the site, he believes the Aspen Heights developer, Crockett Development, did not preserve 25 percent of native trees.

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