Gateway Arch (By: KAREN BLEIER, AFP)
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Government and civic leaders in the St. Louis area are launching an ambitious effort to help entrepreneurs start their companies, grow them and keep them in St. Louis.
Plans were being announced Thursday to raise $100 million over five years to invest in startups. Funds will be sought from private companies, investors and foundations.
St. Louis was once home to many nationally recognized companies, but many have merged with other firms in the past two decades. McDonnell Douglas was sold to Boeing, and Trans World Airlines to American Airlines.
Perhaps the biggest blow to the region's psyche came in 2008 when Belgian brewer InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch.
Civic and government leaders hope the funding will help St. Louis grow its own businesses and create firms that will stay as they expand.
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