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Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

What was once a stopping place on the Mother Road has found new life, thanks to a partnership between a local Route 66 scholar and the Town of Normal.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

A local entrepreneur is shedding light on the hardships of starting a small business as a woman or minority.

The Garlic Press / Facebook

An anchor of Uptown Normal is closing. Owners say they are shutting down the Garlic Press Market Cafe.

Owner Sarah Bushnell McManus said the adjoining gift store will remain open. But McManus says about 15 people will lose their jobs in September when the cafe ends a 12-year run.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A pair of Bloomington-Normal entrepreneurs with an eye to the future and a strong sense of humor have launched a Kickstarter campaign for an intriguing new product.

Staff / WGLT

Some members of Bloomington's Downtown Task Force expressed support Tuesday for installing new parking meters in the central business district, as the committee worked to prioritize suggestions for downtown improvements.

Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy said Bloomington and Normal are the only major cities in Illinois he has seen that do not have parking meters.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Online grocery deliveries are a booming industry in the U.S. and now in central Illinois.

Grocery stores have offered online shopping and delivery services for years now. But recently separate companies have begun offering the same service using the stores.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

After almost a decade of dormancy, there's new life on the north Normal hotel landscape.

Holiday Inn failed. So did Sheraton Inn. And Staywood Inn, as well. Now the new Radisson Hotel hopes to rise from their ashes on the north side of Normal to turn the location into a success story.

David Wilson / Flickr

The Bloomington Normal area edged under 4-percent unemployment last month. That's according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Economists suggest the lowest possible level of unemployment is about that 3.8-percent mark.

Compared to a year ago, the twin cities had 900 more jobs in May.

'BN Advantage' Works To Build BN Excitement

Jun 6, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Normal has a lot going for it in the competition for a stable and perhaps growing economy. That's according to the head of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives. Mick Fleming spoke during a B-N Advantage event at the Rivian Automotive Plant.

Destihl

Destihl Brewery has cut the ribbon on its new  $14 million production facility in north Normal.

The grand opening Saturday at the brewery north of Menards comes at a time craft brewing growth has begun to slow in the U.S. But, Giotto Troia of Destihl said his company's position remains enviable.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A potential multi-sports complex on Bloomington-Normal's west side could top $50 million in public-private investment.

In an interview  for GLT's Sound Ideas, Katie Kim of the Kim Group, a developer working with landowner Dave Stark on a multi-use sports complex in Bloomington-Normal, said she continues to meet with stakeholders.

Dr. Bernard Goitein / Center for Business and Economic Research, Bradley University

The head of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Bradley University says economic indicators suggest the Peoria area economy will keep on growing at a modest rate. Bernie Goitein said the Caterpillar layoffs have eased and other parts of the economy appear to be compensating.

"Local demand for housing has pushed new single family building permits up .8 percent in the quarter. So, you have this need for more housing. That's more construction and more construction jobs," said Goitein.

Dr. Bernard Goitein / Center for Business and Economic Research, Bradley University

A snapshot of the Peoria area economy shows stability.

The latest composite index out by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Bradley University shows a minor decline in activity, though it also shows the economy is still growing.

Alachua County / Flickr

March unemployment in Bloomington Normal was down more than a full point from the same time last year.

According to the State Department of Employment Security, the jobless rate in the twin cities in March was 4.3 percent.

What's In Your Wallet?

Apr 27, 2017
MpegMan / Flickr

You've probably seen the Capital One TV commercials, where celebrities Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Garner ask, "What's in your wallet?" More and more people are keeping less and less cash in their wallets, but is what's left over in your wallet something that should be there?

Paypal Petr

There is no "one-size fits all" when it comes to personal finance. There aren't many areas of life where the same rules apply to everyone, and personal finance is certainly one where each person should develop their own financial roadmap.

During Sound Ideas, Edgar Norton, Director of Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis, examined some commonly-held beliefs about personal finance.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The changing nature of retail is affecting cities' ability to provide basic services. As an increasing number of people discover the convenience of online shopping, cities are losing essential sales tax revenue, something internet sellers don't pay.

Destihl Brewery

Destihl Brewery will open its new $14 million facility in Normal May 27.

The 47,000 square foot brewery will also have a 6,300 square foot beer hall attached for tasting and with a limited a la carte menu.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The face of retail is changing drastically, but there is still a place for brick and mortar stores. That's according to Rob Karr, the head of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Karr spoke in Normal before the Economic Development Council saying there are parallels with the past in the way technology is changing retail.

Westminster Village

More senior citizens are ready to move into retirement communities than there is space for them to live in Bloomington-Normal.

That's according to Westminster Village CEO Barb Nathan, who said the driving force behind a $33 million expansion and renovation is the 300 people on their waiting list.

Francis Storr / Flickr

Eight years ago Bitcoin was an experimental technology of interest to niche enthusiasts only. The digital currency is much bigger now.

It's traded worldwide. There is even a business presence for it in central Illinois.

Christy Germanis / YWCA of McLean County

Tuesday is equal pay day. That represents how far into a year a woman must work to earn what a man in the same job earned the previous year.

Meg Bell, Director of the American Business Women's Foundation Board said there is progress in wage equity, but it's slow.

Bradley Gordon / Flickr

The new owner of the Gordman's Department Store Chain indicates the Gordman's in Normal will likely close.

David Wilson / Flickr

Several sectors of the Bloomington-Normal economy gained jobs last month compared to a year ago.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports increases in educational and health services, financing, business, construction, transportation and warehousing, and utilities.

Bradley Gordon / Flickr

A Houston based retailer has bought the Gordman's Department store chain.

Stage Stores says it will keep about 50 strong performing Gordman's outlets open.

David Wilson / Flickr

Nearly 6,000 people were out of work in Bloomington-Normal in January and looking for a job.

The state Department of Employment Security reported unemployment rates increased in most major metro areas in the state including the Twin Cities.

Caterpillar Hires Big Name Legal Help

Mar 17, 2017
IPR

Caterpillar Inc. is hiring a former U.S. attorney general to help it sort out matters that sparked a federal raid on its headquarters in central Illinois.

William P. Barr will serve as outside counsel to the large equipment manufacturer.

He'll help Caterpillar review and address issues relating to Caterpillar SARL, a Swiss parts subsidiary, and tax-saving practices.    

Issues with Caterpillar SARL have dogged the company for eight years, sparking a Senate investigation, shareholder lawsuits, and proposed taxes and penalties totaling $2 billion.

Staff / WGLT

Department store options continue to shrink in Bloomington-Normal.

J.C. Penney is closing its store at Eastland Mall in Bloomington.

Staff / WGLT

The closure of Macy's in Eastland Mall is a symbol of retail upheaval nationwide according to Bloomington City Council candidates in wards one, five, and seven.

Bradley Gordon / Flickr

Gordman's Stores has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced liquidation plans for its stores including the one in Normal in the Shoppes at College Hills in Normal.

The century old Nebraska department store chain is the latest victim in a climate that has seen customers shift to the internet.

Macy's has also gone through that trend and announced the closure of its store in Bloomington. The Gordman's in Normal is one of the anchor stores in the Shoppes at College Hills.
   

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