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MiTek closes here, gets tax breaks in St. Charles

MiTek, which decided earlier this year to close its Columbia manufacturing plant and consolidate operations in the St. Louis area, has received a tax break to pay for an expansion of its plant in St. Charles.

MiTek owns the building that houses its stamping operations in St. Charles and leased the plant in Columbia from the Atkins family; the company decided to consolidate operations in St. Charles because the market for its product shrank during the recession, according to Bernie Andrews, vice president of Regional Economic Development Inc.

Andrews said the company had not sought a tax break from Columbia or Boone County. MiTek’s plant in Columbia had been “winding down” since June, he said.

Last week, the St. Charles City Council approved the allocation of about $7 million in industrial revenue bonds for MiTek, a global company owned by Warren Buffett’s conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report. The company also will get abatements for property and sales taxes, the newspaper reported.

Accounting firms merge

The Columbia accounting firm Moeller-Williams-Edington PC has merged with J. Baer and Associates of Jackson, Mo., to form Baer & Edington LLC. The new firm has locations in Columbia and Jackson and will have a combined partner base. Both existing and newly hired staff will operate the firm.

Jeff Baer will serve as CEO. Baer, Dana Steffens and Angela Miskell will serve as the Jackson office partners while Cheryl Edington and Rose Williams will serve as the Columbia office partners.

Baer & Edington will employ 11 CPAs and seven staff accountants among other positions. Baer & Edington will continue to specialize in tax preparation for individual, business and trust and estate, financial statement preparation and planning. The company also added check writing payroll services to the services offered at its Columbia location.

Mary Moeller, Rose Williams and Cheryl Edington founded Moeller-Williams-Edington in Columbia in 2002 when firms owned by each of the women were merged. Moeller retired in August 2009.

Newsy.com app popular among news sites

Columbia-based Media Convergence Group’s video news iPhone application for Newsy.com ranked as the sixth most downloaded free news application in Apple’s iTunes App Store earlier this month.

Downloads of the app shot up last week after Apple featured Newsy in its “News and Noteworthy” section of the App Store. The application has been downloaded more than 10,000 times since then, Media Convergence Group President Jim Spencer said.

Its ranking means the Newsy application is currently more popular than releases from well-known news outlets such as The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, HuffingtonPost.com and Time Inc. The Newsy app has been available through iTunes since Sept. 20.

The application is updated simultaneously with the Web site, and users can thumb through recent videos, search for older clips, leave comments and share videos via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

Two MU students — convergence journalism major Tony Brown and computer science doctoral student Peng Zhuang — designed the application. They were selected after their team won an MU-sponsored iPhone app competition earlier this year.

Local bank market shares shift

Commerce, Regions and Shelter Financial banks had big gains in the Columbia market this year while Bank of America, Premier and Callaway banks had smaller slices of the banking pie, according to the latest FDIC Summary of Deposits. The federal regulatory agency’s annual summary of deposits includes data provided by banking institutions as of June 30.

Commerce Bank had a 6 percent positive change in the market share, while both Regions and Shelter banks had 8 percent changes. Bank of America and Callaway Bank had minus 11 percent market share changes, and Premiere Bank had a minus 7 percent market share change. Boone ounty National Bank stayed about even and still has more than a third of the local market.

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