Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

Biaggi's
Eric Stock / WGLT

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

John Houseal speaks at podium
Breanna Grow / WGLT

After two years of review, Bloomington is ready to move forward with major updates to its zoning ordinance.

Flickr

Unemployment rates fell in August in all but one of the major cities in Illinois, including Bloomington-Normal.

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?

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.

Bees exiting a hive
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Jeff Henry of Bloomington is an urban beekeeper, hoping to reverse an alarming decline in pollinators like honeybees that threatens our global food supply.

Erik Nelson at Eclipse Studios
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Music industry experts have predicted the demise of the traditional recording studio for nearly two decades.

Larry Dietz talks to Jon Rosenthal
Cindy Le / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz has been picked to help Google choose which nonprofits around the state will receive thousands of dollars in grant funding.

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.

Job fair
Annie Rice / AP

Bloomington-Normal is one of three metro areas in Illinois which lost jobs over the last year.

JB Pritzker walks at a farm
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Gov. Bruce Rauner and his Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker were minutes away from crossing paths Wednesday in Normal as they asked a tent full of farmers for their support.

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.

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.

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.

farm field
Nati Harnik / AP

As Congress gets set to debate a final version of a new farm bill this summer, one of the negotiators wants to ensure job training requirements are included.

Charles Krupa / AP

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

Ryan Denham / WGLT

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

Staff / WGLT

The Bridgestone plant in Normal will add 30 new employees as part of a $12 million investment, the tiremaker announced Tuesday.

A combine harvesting a field of soybeans
United Soybean Board / Flickr

The Illinois Farm Bureau is calling for the Trump administration to go to the bargaining table with China over tariffs.

Electrolux site
Eric Stock / WGLT

The City of Bloomington is working with Illinois Wesleyan University to find a new purpose for the former Mennonite Hospital and Electrolux site.

Fresh Market
Eric Stock / WGLT

Fresh Market has announced it's closing its stores in Normal and 14 other locations.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

A semipro baseball team. A band performing at the Castle Theatre. A mom visiting to watch her son play college football. A family reunion. An author writing a book about historic Route 66.