Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

Ralph Weisheit

The new executive director of the Downtown Bloomington coliseum expects a multi-million dollar economic impact on the community from the arena and says an adjacent hotel and conference center would only help.

Ralph Timan

This weekend marks a year since Mitsubishi Motors told the community and its workers the auto plant in Normal would close.

Many workers have had tremendous changes in that year. Among them Ralph Timan and his wife Mitzi.

Creative Commons

The first anniversary of the announcement of the closure of the Mitsubishi Auto plant in Normal is this weekend.

GLT is revisiting the several former workers we've followed since then.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The Illinois Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism is celebrating artisans, products and experiences unique to the state with the new Illinois Made program. Illinois Office of Tourism Director Cory Jobe said  Illinois Made is an opportunity to feature the entrepreneurial spirit that is happening in the state. Jobe said Illinois is home to a thriving culture of artisans and craftspeople, making products that are in high demand among people looking for authentic, out of the ordinary experiences.  

Jeff Giebelhausen/Farnsworth Group

City officials could get their first detailed peek into plans for a downtown hotel during a meeting next week. Bloomington alderman Karen Schmidt, whose ward serves downtown, said during Sound Ideas, the project could prove to be a major impetus in reviving the central business district.

State Farm CEO Becomes Chairman of the Board

Jun 13, 2016
Ralph Weisheit

State Farm CEO Michael Tipsord has been chosen to succeed former CEO Edward Rust, Jr. as the Chairman of the Board for the Bloomington-based insurance giant.

Creative Commons

How Americans view agriculture is not necessarily how the rest of the world sees farming practices. A British agriculture journalist recently stopped by the GLT studios during her trip across the U.S. as part of a fellowship studying U.S. farming practices and perceptions.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon Corp. says it will shut two Illinois nuclear plants after the Illinois Legislature declined to act on its request for financial support. The company said Thursday it will close the Clinton Power Station in Clinton on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova on June 1, 2018.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The last 170 Mitsubishi workers at the plant in Normal are now without jobs as the final day for the plant ended in shutdown. Plant head Jerry Berwanger said no workforce was finer.

WGLT

Many businesses are figuring out how much new federal rules on overtime pay will cost them starting in December. The effect on Illinois State University could be in the two million dollar range.

Alan Ferguson / Creative Commons

Home sales in Bloomington Normal rose 11 percent in April compared to the same month last year. The Association of Realtors said year to date sales are up 5.6 percent. Indicators remain mixed, though.

Michael Allen Smith / Creative Commons

Count the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and the Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council among the interest groups on board a proposed sales tax sharing agreement in the twin cities.

Caterpillar Execs Visit Cuba

May 11, 2016
Roger W. / Creative Commons

Leaders from Caterpillar are traveling to Cuba this week as the company tries to grow business opportunities in the island nation. The Peoria-based company announced Wednesday representatives from machinery dealer RIMCO are joining CEO Doug Oberhelman and Cat executives.

Ralph Weisheit

The head of the company that just took the Mitsubishi plant in Normal off the automaker's hands says they will start liquidating the equipment in two or three months if they do not find a buyer for the plant.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The head of the Mitsubishi Auto plant in Normal said this has been his most difficult year of more than four decades in the auto industry. The company laid off most of its workforce last year and the final hundred plus workers at the facility will lose their jobs at the end of the month.

Ralph Weisheit

The Mayor of Normal sees the sale of the Mitsubishi plant to a liquidator as a positive. He also said the purchase would not interfere with overseas conversations to sell the plant.

Roger W. / Creative Commons

Heavy equipment-maker Caterpillar Inc. plans to put hundreds of jobs in Arizona with the selection of Tucson as the location of new consolidated offices for the company's mining and technology division. Illinois, Wisconsin, and other locations around the world will lose some jobs.

Vicky Hugheston / Creative Commons

Economic growth continues its slowdown, according to the University of Illinois Flash Index.

The measure of the state’s economy based on state tax receipts produced a reading of 104.7 in April. That’s the second month of consecutive declines, and the lowest reading since December of 2012.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Mitsubishi Motors North America has sold its plant in Normal to an industrial reclamation firm.

Maynards Industries is a Detroit-based company that will take possession of the plant in June.

Mitsubishi says it does not know Maynards' plans for the site and equipment, but are aware they are in discussions with various parties.

Portillos

Portillo's hot dogs will open a restaurant in Normal in 2017. The Oak Brook based restaurant chain is not yet announcing a location or opening date.

pixabay

The world is reinventing itself from the bottom up according Bruce Katz. The Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution and author argues cities are the center of problem solving and innovation, where place rules over party, collaboration over conflict and evidence over dogma.

YMCA

The YMCA of Bloomington Normal is seeing a significant shift in income among those who use its programs.

Illinois Department of Employment Security

Unemployment in March was 6% for the Bloomington Normal area. The State Department of Employment Security says that's an increase of nearly one and a half points from the same month last year.

Dorothea Lange / Flickr via Creative Commons

A survey of rural bankers in 10 Western and Plains states suggests the region remains stifled by relatively low agriculture and energy commodity prices.

Clinton Power Plant Days Numbered?

Apr 18, 2016
Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Exelon Corporation announced Friday the Clinton nuclear power plant will operate for at least another year after it cleared a recent power capacity auction.

Workbench/Green Top Grocery

Bloomington's Greentop Grocery has been approved for a $1.5 million loan. National Cooperative Bank (NCB) and Shared Capital specialize in working with coops.

Staff

The Main Street corridor from Olive Street in Bloomington to College Avenue in Normal is the subject of only two TIGER Grant applications being submitted by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). It's the only project involving road construction. 

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner calls the multi-modal aspects of the application "exciting." Town of Normal Manger  Mark Peterson said the economic benefits are a "game changer."

Staff / WGLT

There's evidence the state budget standoff is hurting the economy in Illinois and in Bloomington Normal.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University contributes about 7.5% of the McLean County. Hasan Mohammedi of ISU's economics department is one of the people who did a study that also shows direct and indirect employment from the University topping 8,900 jobs.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The task force working to find a buyer for the former Mitsubishi auto manufacturing plant is continuing to field inquires. An upcoming trip to an international industrial trade show in Germany could increase interest.

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