What to Know Now: Pause on PolyMet Permits, General Mills’ Q1 Sales Dip

A roundup of business news around the state, curated by TCB editors.
What to Know Now: Pause on PolyMet Permits, General Mills’ Q1 Sales Dip

Mixed bag for General Mills’ Q1 earnings: General Mills beat investors’ expectations in its first quarter, though its sales dipped 2 percent, the Star Tribune’s Kristen Leigh Painter reports. Company officials pinned the decline on issues in its international business. Sales in General Mills’ Europe and Australia segments fell 9 percent, the newspaper reports.

E. coli fears prompt flour recall: General Mills this week issued a voluntary recall of about 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour. The company says it hasn’t received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses. This is one of several flour recalls issued this year, USA Today reports.

Trade war fallout lowers economic growth forecast: Members of the Business Roundtable – which includes 3M CEO Mike Roman and Target CEO Brian Cornell – have downgraded their outlook for the U.S. economy amid trade war uncertainty, CNBC reports. “Uncertainty is preventing the full potential of the economy from being unleashed, limiting growth and investment here in the U.S.,” Business Roundtable president Joshua Bolten said in a statement.

More VC funding: Venture capital firm Matchstick Ventures says it’s closed on a $30 million fund to support early-stage software companies. The firm says it aims to write its first checks for around $500,000, with larger amounts to follow. Earlier this year, Matchstick founder Ryan Broshar told TCB he’s invested in more than 50 companies.

Code Switch hack-a-thon planned in St. Paul: The two-day “civic hackathon” will take place in St. Paul Sept. 21-22. Code Switch is aimed at both “techies and non-techies,” including artists, educators, and business professionals, according to the event’s website. “You don’t need a detailed plan, only a desire for change,” the event’s organizers say.

PolyMet’s permitting problems: The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ordered a temporary stay of two key permits for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota, MPR reports. Two recent developments prompted the court’s decision: The failure of a similarly designed dam in Brazil, along the Swiss mining conglomerate’s acquisition of a majority stake in PolyMet. “[T]here is no dispute that the developments warrant the DNR’s consideration,” the court wrote.

Washed out in Willmar: Recent heavy rains in west-central Minnesota will likely interfere with harvest plans, the West Central Tribune’s Carolyn Lange reports. Wet and cool weather has allowed for just 1.6 days of suitable fieldwork during the week ended Sept. 15. “Harvest is going to be a struggle,” says Tom Anderson, executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Swift County.