Business

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.
   

Illinois State University

Illinois State University's new Vice President for Finance and Planning will be on the job early next month.

ISU President Larry Dietz has announced he picked Daniel Stephens, who most recently has been an associate vice chancellor in the University of North Texas three campus system.

Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal is saying five to seven million gallons of water spilled in that overnight water main break.

"About a two-day supply, it looks like," said Dan Irvin, spokesman for the town.

John Morgan / Flickr

This year, taxpayers have an additional three days to get income taxes sent in to the federal government.

April 15 falls on a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday — April 17. However, Emancipation Day — a legal holiday in the District of Columbia — will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18.

RogerW / Flickr

The New York Times is raising the question of Tax and Accounting Fraud by Peoria-based Caterpillar, Incorporated, not just negligence in taxes owed. Citing a confidential report to federal investigators, the Times alleges Caterpillar did not comply with either U.S. tax law or U.S. financial reporting rules.

Leslie Robinson of the Accounting Department at Dartmouth is the author of the report. The story quoted Robinson saying she believed the company's non compliance was deliberate and primarily with the intention of maintaining a higher share price.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner hopes Rivian Automotive will help boost employment in central Illinois.

Rauner joined many state and local elected officials at Rivian's opening ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Rauner said he's excited to see entrepreneurs like R.J. Scaringe take risks to start business in Illinois.

Staff

Steve Hagge has spent the past 35 years at Crystal Lake-based AptarGroup, Inc, rising to his current role as Chief Executive Officer of the $2.3 billion company. During Sound Ideas, Hagge said the biggest thing he's learned in that time span is to think and act on a global basis.

Staff / WGLT

State Farm Insurance had an operating loss of $1.2 Billion last year.

But, net income was $400 million in the black according to annual company financial results.

Forest and Kim Star / Flickr

Many couples celebrated Valentine's Day with gifts of chocolate. But, the sweet has a sometimes bitter and complex history.

Illinois State University Anthropologist Katie Sampeck looks at the genesis of taste and how chocolate came to be.

Randy Wick / Flickr

Illinois Agriculture groups are starting to show concern about the Trump administration direction in trade policy.

During the campaign, Trump focused on manufacturing jobs. But, agriculture has been a big winner under NAFTA and other regional and global trade deals.

More than half of Illinois corn and soybeans go to Mexico and Canada. Illinois Farm Bureau Vice President David Erickson of Altona, Illinois said nervous Mexican firms are starting to look for suppliers in Brazil and Argentina.

Pictures of Money / Flickr

Even with 2017 well under way, there still some chances to hit the reset button.

This includes updating your personal finance situation. During Sound Money, WGLT's Willis Kern talked with Edgar Norton, Director of Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis.

Nelson Pavlovsky / Flickr

As central Illinois leaders try to assess the magnitude of Caterpillar, Incorporated's announcement they are moving top corporate leadership to the Chicago area, there are no sure answers.

Kyle Ham heads the Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council.

Aaron Volkening / Flickr

An Illinois State University Business Professor said it's important to keep some perspective about Caterpillar's announcement it is moving it's headquarters to the Chicago area.

Victor Devinatz studies labor and management relations. He said it's 100 executive jobs and 300 jobs overall.

Caterpillar To Move HQ To Chicago

Jan 31, 2017
Roger W. / Flickr

Caterpillar is moving its global headquarters to Chicago. The Peoria-based heavy equipment company has announced it will locate a limited group of senior executives and support functions to the Chicago area later this year.

David Forrest

Three Bradley University Students are getting into the business world a little early. They have designed a new game that will be published later this year.

It's called 'Dark Is the Night.' It's being funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

David Sawyer / Flickr

Peoria area home sales closed the year up for the fourth quarter, but down marginally for the full year. The Peoria Area Association of Realtors reports fourth quarter sales were up more than a percent and the full year down less than a percent.

Indicators are not always reliable guides to performance though. For instance, Jana Heffron, PAAR President said  there were some negative pressures on the market late last year and then November was up six percent.

Staff / WGLT

Downstate hospital executives claim repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement would cost the state more than 84-thousand jobs.

The Illinois Hospital Association argued having 1.2 million more Illinoisians with insurance has helped create thousands of new jobs downstate. They said if the Affordable Care Act goes, so do the jobs.

Staff / WGLT

The head of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors predicts a strong home-selling climate in 2017, from about mid-year on.

Until then, Ed Neaves said things will be steady. He said about 100 homes are under contract so far this year, about the same as at this point in 2016. Sales last year rose 2.8%.

Neaves said a lot of buyers are out there but they are educated and particular.

Bill Waller / Facebook

Tar on a bench and a spate of calls to police complaining about homeless people near businesses in downtown Bloomington last summer focused attention on the issue.

Not a lot has happened publicly since then, but Downtown Bloomington Association Director Tricia Stiller says there has ben an effort to communicate on the issue among stakeholder.

Ralph Weisheit

The realty market amounted to a nearly $486 million chunk of the Bloomington Normal economy last year. That's up more than 2% in dollars.

The number of home sales rose by 2.8%.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Be afraid. Be very afraid of losing your data.

If Presidential campaigns can't keep their computers secure, what hopes do the rest of us have?

Fernando Butcher / Flickr

Some of the top business stories of 2016 dealt with things like Robo-advising and block chain. In this edition of Sound Money, GLT's Willis Kern continues the countdown of the top stories of last year with the top five. 

The stories were selected by Edgar Norton, Director of Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis.

  • #5 Emerging international markets
  • #4 Illinois budget stalemate
  • #3 New fiduciary rule
  • #2 Brexit
  • #1 Trump election

Staff / WGLT

Macy's is closing its store in Bloomington.

The shut down by the end of the year involves 55 jobs, according to a company news release.

Staff / WGLT

The CEO of Rivian Automotive calls the community surrounding the Mitsubishi Plant "something special." 

BTC Keychain / Flickr

2016 was a very big year for news, and it also yielded some pretty big business news headlines.

In this edition of Sound Money, GLT's Willis Kern looks back at some of the top business stories of the past year, along with Edgar Norton, Director of Illinois State University's Institute for Financial Planning and Analysis.

  • #10 Robo-advising
  • #9   Indexing wins
  • #8   Negative interest rates
  • #7   Blockchain
  • #6   Carbon energy collapse

 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon Corporation says it is hiring more than 200 people at the Clinton nuclear power plant, a significant number of them permanent positions.

The company had held off on a number of capital projects and on hiring as plant jobs came open from resignations or retirements for much of the last year.

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