State unemployment gets small uptick

Monday, August 23, 2010

Missouri's unemployment rate inched up in July, but remains lower than one year ago.

July unemployment increased one tenth of a point from 9.1 in June to 9.2 in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One year ago, July unemployment in Missouri was at 9.7 percent.

In Kansas City, a model changeover layoff at a motor vehicle plant contributed to the over-the-month decrease in employment, according to the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The state gained 2,700 jobs during the month of July with the biggest increase being in administrative and support services positions.

* Mortgage rates fall: Mortgage rates dropped last week for the eighth time in nine weeks, The Associated Press reported. The average rate on 15-year fixed loans dropped to 3.9 percent, down from 3.92 percent the previous week. This is the lowest rate on record since 1991, according to the AP.

* Sikeston company acquires general sign: The Canedy Group of Sikeston, Mo., has purchased the former General Sign Co. in Cape Girardeau. General Sign, 4857 Nash Road, employed 31 people when it closed in June. Canedy Sign manufactures and installs several types of signs including vinyl graphic decals, banners, LED signs, billboards, monument signs and pylon free-standing signs. The company will continue to operate at 18023 U.S. 61 S. in Sikeston, but also will now provide sales, manufacturing and installation services at its new Cape Girardeau location. Canedy Sign also has a facility in St. Louis.

* Tax lien filed against music association: A $7,696.95 tax lien has been filed by the Missouri Department of Revenue against the City of Roses Music Heritage Association for failing to pay sales taxes during September. The association sponsors the annual River City Music Festival, scheduled this year for Oct. 1 and 2. Ted Farnen, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Revenue, said the lien won't prohibit the organization from hosting this year's event.

"The Department of Revenue does not come in and 'lock the door' and shut down organizations in cases like this for nonpayment of sales taxes," Farnen said.

Mary Ramsey, the City of Roses Music Heritage Association's registered agent with the Missouri Secretary of State's office, could not be reached for comment.

* Sweetheart Florist in Jackson reopens: Becky Engert of Cape Girardeau, former owner of Sweetheart Florist, reopened the shop at 119 S. High St. in Jackson on Aug. 16. Engert owned the business for eight years, before selling it two years ago. She worked at Toni's House of Flowers in Cape Girardeau before recently purchasing the business back. Engert's parents, Penny and Larry McCormick of Jackson, are partners with her in Sweetheart Florist. In addition to fresh cut flowers, the shop also features decorative driftwood, potted plants, silk wreaths and gourmet food baskets featuring meats, cheese and fruit.

* New owners at Brenda's Place: Shannon and Patricia Mungle of Cape Girardeau have purchased Brenda's Place restaurant at 602 Morgan Oak St. in Cape Girardeau, according to a business license application filed with the city of Cape Girardeau. They took over the operation from previous owner Brenda Glueck.

* New art studio opens: Mozaics Art Studio has opened at 5 N. Main St., Suite C, in Cape Girardeau. Owners Marti Wingo and Leslie Compass specialize in selling handmade local artwork, according to a business license application filed with the city of Cape Girardeau.

* United Seating to open in September: United Seating and Mobility LLC will open at 1802 Broadway in Cape Girardeau next month. The business is owned by Robert Gouy and William Rubin of Hazelwood, Mo., according to a business license application filed with the city of Cape Girardeau.

* New business training: The Small Business and Technology Development Center of Southeast Missouri State University will hold a business training event, "How to Start a New Business," on Sept. 21.

The session will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Southeast Innovation Center, 920 Broadway. The instructor is Russell Humphrey, director of the center at Southeast.

The fee for attending is $30 with a discounted fee of $15 for an accompanying business partner or family member. Registration is required by Sept. 17. Call 573-986-6084 for a registration form or more information.

* Real estate company wins award: Realty Executives of Cape County was presented with the Circle of Excellence Award. This is the second year in a row the company received this award. The Circle of Excellence is presented by Realty Executives International to their franchises for meeting a series of requirements including having a positive growth trend, consistent communication, effective branding, community involvement and contribution, and ongoing training and planning.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or

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