Economy

Laura Ziegler

Black Friday was  ….well… Thanksgiving Thursday as many stores opened their doors for the holiday shop-a-ganza anywhere between 3 and 9 p.m.

I went out to Best Buy and Wal Mart at 10:30 p.m. expecting to find the fabled Black Friday frenzy. Instead, I found what looked to be a pretty typical Saturday or Sunday’s parking lot and customer traffic.

The craziness, I was told, happened earlier in the day.

The Kansas City city council is expected to approve tax incentives for an expansion of the area's automotive manufacturing industry this afternoon.

Wednesday, a council committee endorsed ten-year tax abatement and $10.5 million in industrial revenue bonds to help turn a building in the east bottoms into a manufacturing facility for auto interior components. Troy Curran of Grupo Anolin says the company already has 2700 people working n North America.

What is Global Entrepreneurship Week?

It’s a mash-up of dozens of classes, speakers, workshops and competitions that extend through Saturday in Kansas City. Other cities across the U.S. and 139 different countries also are sponsoring a Global Entrepreneurship Week to celebrate innovators and startups.

Some of the highlights from the week in Kansas City:

A kind of entrepreneurial love fest is happening across the world this week. Global entrepreneurship is being celebrated in Kansas City, across the United States and in 139 countries around the world.

The event, called 'Global Entrepreneurship Week,' is a mash up of events, workshops and competitions celebrating innovative startups.

Jgoge / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Should entertainment venues, like theaters, sports arenas and music halls allow smartphone use?

More than 56 percent of Americans own smartphones and many use them at events like concerts and movies, or at least try to.

Rather than discourage or prevent their use, some venues in Kansas City are trying to take advantage of the new connectivity.

Heather Cowper / Flickr - CC

General Manager, Robert Leyva, talks about the opening of luxury hotel, Hotel Sorella, job creation, and the development of the West Edge area. 

401(K) 2012/Flickr-CC

Working two jobs, for a total of 60 hours a week, at federal minimum wage, you would bring home roughly $22,600 a year. That’s almost one thousand dollars under the federal poverty level for a family of four.

On today's Central Standard, Brian Ellison talks with two economists who have differing views on minimum wage. How much does raising minimum wage hurt businesses, but how much could it improve the lives of those working at minimum wage?

We also look back on the life of E. Grey Dimond, founder of the UMKC school of medicine, with some of his former colleagues.

Hallmark Cards has announced plans to eliminate as many as 250 positions, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The article says 100 of the job cuts will come this year.  The staff reductions involve "the greeting card development process" and an exit from the party goods market.

United Airlines and Air Canada were supposed to move Wednesday night from Terminal A to Terminal C at Kansas City International Airport, but those plans got delayed. 

KCI spokesman Joe McBride says technical issues were to blame.

“As they were getting into the eleventh hour of the move, the computer technology was not all coming on line,” said McBride. “So it looked like the airline was not going to have the ability to check people in be it at the ticket counter or the kiosk.”

McBride says he expects the terminal change will take place early next week. 

Wikipedia / Google Images -- CC

The West Bottoms is an industrial area directly west of downtown Kansas City, located at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers.  It is one of the oldest areas of the city, and the original home of two of the region's key industries: beef and railroads.

ITU/Rowan Farrell / Flickr--CC

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, are increasing their economic presence and power. Companies are investing in research to understand this group, which makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population. There might be a lot we still don't know about this significant segment of society, but according to our experts, here's what we do know:

Herkie / Flickr--CC

Boulevard Brewery grew from humble beginnings to be ranked 12th in the nation for craft beer companies. The Kansas City favorite announced October 17 that it had been sold to a 142-year old Belgian company called Duvel Moortgat Brewery.

When Boulevard Brewery founder John McDonald started his micro-brewery 24 years ago, he wasn't even thinking of an exit plan. His original business plan included 7,000 barrels per year and seven employees. He now produces 190,000 barrels and has 125 employees.

stockmonkeys.com

Not many retail companies can or want to boast that their employees are paid $21 an hour and given health insurance, but Costco is proud to do so. 

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with founder and former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal about the wild success and the almost unparalleled employee compensation that his company is known for. We'll find out why Sinegal decided to pay his workers over twice the national minimum wage, and what effects it has on their work ethic and shareholders' blood pressure.

Guests:

Laura Ziegler

Missouri is in the crosshairs of a national debate over payday loans. This is partly because the industry is huge and wields a lot of political power in the state, but also due to a growing, grass- roots consumer movement. Payday lenders say they provide necessary alternatives to more costly bank overdrafts and credit card debt, but consumer activists aren’t buying it, and are working to provide alternatives for short term loans.

Sarah Reid / Flickr - CC

October is Financial Planning Month, so it's as good a time as any to start thinking about your financial future. However, when you start really digging deep, you might find lots of information and advice. How do you know who to trust? Who is the most reliable?

Bill Anderson and the Cash Money Crew examines some of these so called "Rules of Thumb" for financial planning and determine what advice is actually useful.

Here are some "Rules of Thumb" which may need to be given a second look:

Laura Spencer / KCUR-FM

The owner of Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company has sold a majority stake in the business to a Belgian brewery. Still John McDonald, Boulevard’s founder, says the deal with Duvel Moortgat will only allow the brewery to accelerate its Kansas City expansion.

Charting a new path

John McDonald just turned 60, and that got him thinking about stepping back from the beer business. He began looking for partners.

Laura Spencer / KCUR-FM

The Kansas City Business Journal reports that Kansas City-based CEO of Boulevard Brewing Co., John

McDonald has sold the majority interest in the company to Belgian brewery Duvel Moortagat.

McDonald started Boulevard in 1989 and brought the company to national acclaim. McDonald told the Kansas City Business journal that he turned 60 this year and needed to figure out what he was going to do with the brewery.

BNSF Railway officially opens a huge new freight handling center in southern Johnson County, Kan. Thursday. The intermodal freight yard in Edgerton will be the largest in the region.

Kansas City is a major shipping hub. It’s the second largest rail hub, as measured by number of train cars, and by some measures, the third largest trucking center in the country. 

All that freight flowing in and out of the Kansas City-area creates jobs for drivers, warehouse workers and others. Increasingly it comes in by train, and gets distributed from Johnson County by truck.  

Officials with Guadalupe Centers, Inc. are lining up inspections and applications with an eye to converting the 19-acre St Paul School of Theology from an historic Baptist seminary to an elementary school, summer program and possibly even a credit union.

Guadalupe Centers, Inc. CEO Cris Medina says their increasingly popular charter schools and other services don’t just serve Hispanics, but also Somalis, Sudanese and South East Asians. Many of those who take advantage of their services, he says, live on the east side of town.

Thomas Long/Flickr-CC

The Midwest is generally a calm place, but a new museum exhibit in Johnson County is recalling a place that was potentially explosive.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the history and development of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant. A former plant manager and the top government official both join us today to give an inside look at what it was like to work there.

Guests:

Alex Smith / KCUR

In his Overland Park, Kan. office, Dr. Rohit Krishna administers an eye test, but he isn't using big contraptions or wall charts. Krishna administers the entire test on his iPad using an app called The Eye Handbook. Krishna created The Eye Handbook about four years ago with other University of Missouri - Kansas City medical professors and residents. It is designed especially for use in countries that don't have a lot of medical services.

Sources affiliated with Saint Paul School of Theology say the school has negotiated a contract to sell its Truman Road campus to a prominent local social service agency. The seminary is negotiating with the Guadalupe Center’s Inc. to move into their old building.

The future of the Truman Road campus had become controversial after the  leader of a Washington D.C. coalition of social service agencies known as KC CASE filed for zoning changes in order to move into the seminary.

KCUR's Fall Membership Drive kicks off today and we are coming to YOU to ask for your support.

You are the one that powers KCUR. The support we get from you and other members makes up the largest source of revenue for the station. We cannot do it without you, so please make a pledge now.

Buying A Home In Today's Market

Sep 25, 2013
Laura Ziegler / KCUR

It’s the most important investment—and the largest asset—that most people will ever make and own. It’s volatile in price, difficult to manage, and subject to sudden and total loss. For many, it’s also their hope of a secure future. 

App Development In Kansas City

Sep 24, 2013
Ilamont.com / Flickr - CC

Imagine you go to the doctor's office, and instead of being handed a clipboard with the usual paperwork, they hand you a tablet. You fill in all of the information digitally and send it via the tablet to their office database. Then, with that same tablet, you have a list of digital magazines to browse instead of making a trip to the magazine stand. Suddenly, the paper trail you used to leave during your doctor's visit has been made completely digital. With new app technology, this could become the norm in many business settings.

Victor1558 / Flickr - CC

    

There are multiple tests out there that reduce your personality to a number, a one-word description, or a series of letters. Some say they’ve helped match the right person to the right job—maybe even to the right colleagues or romantic partners. But is personality simple enough to fit in such a box, or could a personality label lead people to change it, or live into it?

Ethan Prater / Flickr - CC

We all know that the baby boomer generation is getting older. As the baby boomers enter into their  sixties and seventies, our population will experience a significant age shift. In fact, the number of residents over age 65 will double over the next 20 years, and community members over the age of 80 will be increasing at an even faster rate. But what happens when Grandma and Grandpa can no longer drive, or even live on their own?

What Is A Bitcoin?

Sep 17, 2013
Gastev / Flickr - CC

In a society where we pay bills online, transfer money via the internet, and can buy virtually anything on the web, would you be surprised to know that a currency has been developed that only exists in digital form?

BitCoin is a currency invented not by a government, or a large bank, but by a person or perhaps few people, nobody actually knows exactly who.  It has no government backing, no tie to any precious metal and is entirely unregulated.  However, on the afternoon of Monday, September 16 the exchange rate for one Bitcoin was more than 126 dollars.

Victor1588 / Flickr - CC

A boss can make or break a job. Lack of manager training, promoting for the wrong reasons, and even personal character flaws have resulted in multiple "bad bosses" making the work environment for many stressful, or even toxic. According to an American Psychological Association survey, three-fourths of Americans suffer from workplace stress. And that stress can take a toll.

Shawn Kinkade/ Flickr-CC

Lions, tigers and (panda) bears, oh my! Two thousand zoo and aquarium professionals are in Kansas City this week for the annual convention of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. 

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we take a look at the challenges zoos face these days and how that's been affecting attendance. We also discuss what zoos are hoping their visitors get out of the experience. 

Guests: 

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