Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

Scaringe speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal residents won’t have to wait very long after the LA Auto Show to see Rivian’s first two vehicles firsthand—or to shop for one.

West Bloomington Revitalization Project
Facebook / WBRP

Anyone looking to start or expand a business in west Bloomington can get financial help from a new microloan program.

Biaggi's
Eric Stock / WGLT

When Todd Hovenden opened Biaggi's Italian restaurant in Bloomington in 1999, he had never run a restaurant before. 

Deanna and Adam
Ryan Denham / WGLT

What’s the average commute time in Bloomington-Normal? How many patents do our entrepreneurs win each year? What’s the median rent for those living in the Twin Cities?

Laurie Bell and Arthur Haynes
Eric Stock / WGLT

A group of business owners and west Bloomington advocates has launched an effort to bring a full service grocery store and shopping plaza to that part of the community.

Tony's Tacos storefront
Facebook / Bloomington-Normal Restaurant Scene

Bloomington-Normal tends to get excited whenever a new chain restaurant opens. But this fall there are several locally opened restauranteurs who are opening their doors to customers.

Customers and staff outside Green Top with produce
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Green Top Grocery must raise at least $300,000 this fall or risk closing its doors.

Corn and soybean fields as far as the eye can see are the typical sights of summer throughout rural areas of Illinois. But next year, 'fields of green' will take on an entirely different meaning as farmers will soon be allowed to grow industrial hemp. 

Delta airplanes on runway
Charles Krupa / AP

Central Illinois travelers looking for a nonstop flight to Detroit will have to spend some time in the car first.

WGLT/Ryan Denham

Weeks after another anchor-store closure at Eastland Mall, Bloomington-Normal business leaders are grappling with the future of retail.

Gary Smith has worked at the grain elevator at Okaw Farmer’s Co-op in Lovington, Illinois, for forty years. On his desk sit two computer screens, where he tracks corn and soybean prices online at the Chicago Board of Trade.

As he explains, trade moves fast: “Just bam bam bam, and within a few seconds it could change a nickel or a dime against your favor.”

Judy and Jeff pose outside GLT
Ryan Denham / WGLT

If you're looking for the federal government to fix the American health care system, Jeff Bauer says you're looking in the wrong place.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

The grand opening of Bakery & PickleEpiphany Farms Hospitality Group’s newest venture, is right around the corner. The private dinner club is unlike any other in Bloomington-Normal, transforming into a speakeasy-style bar after hours.

Farm towns in Illinois have been shrinking for decades, and the trend doesn’t show signs of reversing.

By 2025, rural counties with populations of less than 10,000 people will see 7.4 percent of their residents leave, while counties with populations between 10,000 and 25,000 will lose 5.4 percent. That’s according to projections from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Home with For Sale sign
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The local Realtors president said corporate relocations helped the Bloomington-Normal real estate market play some catchup during an especially busy July.

Sears
Eric Stock / WGLT

Eastland Mall's owner says it sees Sears' plans to close this fall as an opportunity to further redefine what a modern mall looks like.

Chad at the bar
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A few years ago, Brandon Leach and Zack Poleto were ready to open their pop-up restaurant in Bloomington, inspired by their favorite dishes from all over the world.

BERNARD GOITEIN / CENTER FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH, BRADLEY UNIVERSITY

The Peoria area's economy saw improved labor market conditions during the second quarter of 2018.

Combine harvests corn in a field
Seth Perlman / AP

In many ways, the history of farming is about its future—how we went from hand tools and horses to self-driving tractors and $10,000-an-acre farmland.

Construction worker at a home project
Charles Krupa / AP

Ten years after the Great Recession, a new housing crisis has developed in America. You’ve been hearing reports all week on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, about those who’ve been shut out of the housing market. Here's a look at how the homebuilding slowdown is playing out in Bloomington-Normal.

Biaggi's exterior
Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano / Facebook

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano is moving, while the company is planning a second restaurant in Bloomington.

Staff / WGLT

Pantagraph owner Lee Enterprises Inc. reported Friday overall quarterly earnings of $4.8 million, down $1.5 million from this time last year.

Advocates of the so-called Illinois Human Rights Act "expansion bill" are urging Governor Bruce Rauner to sign that piece of legislation, which is currently on his desk. Otherwise, without his action, it would die by mid-August.

Pile of soybeans at an elevator
Seth Perlman / AP

Agricultural economist Todd Hubbs had just finished telling a room full of farmers about how all the uncertainty surrounding global trade is affecting U.S. corn growers.

Charles Krupa / AP

Bloomington-Normal’s jobless rate rose in June, though state officials say that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

A field of corn
Randy Wick / Flickr

Farmers across the nation have expressed concern about economic hardship created by Trump tariffs and retaliation by other nations against U.S. agricultural products.

Bistro
Eric Stock / WGLT

A first-time event in downtown Saturday celebrates 25 years since the city's first bar for the LGBTQ community opened.

Andy Netzer on a balcony overlooking the Lodge
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Morgan Anderson is a junior nursing major at Illinois State University. One of her dreams for senior year is to live at the Lodge—the massive apartment complex on Willow Street that, from the outside, looks like where multi-millionaires would spend the night after going skiing.

Green Top Grocery owners look at their new store
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Green Top Grocery has hired a new general manager as the co-op continues its turnaround effort.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

You know what’s not good for a real estate market? A ton of uncertainty at the market’s biggest employer.

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