Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council | WGLT

Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council

Rivian plant from the sky

Rivian continues to ramp up hiring as the start of production approaches in June. The electric vehicle maker will begin manufacturing vans, trucks, and SUVs over the summer and early autumn.

Patrick Hoban

Economic developers did not go to Washington, D.C. to make their case for federal dollars this year. They did it virtually because of the pandemic.

Inside empty coffee shop
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

McLean County's retooled COVID relief program has approved its first round of business loans.

Peggy Parker standing in store
Peggy Parker

The pandemic has hurt many small businesses, but it's been especially tough for those that rely mostly on foot traffic. The pandemic has forced many mom-and-pop businesses to learn how to sell online.

The COVID-19 pandemic's blow to the labor force might not be as devastating to the Bloomington-Normal area as originally feared.

Charlie Schlenker

New data show the Bloomington-Normal economy continues to bounce back from the pandemic in spots.

'Closed' sign in business window
WGLT file photo

A McLean County pandemic-relief loan program remains unused as more options emerge for struggling businesses.

Patrick Hoban
WGLT file photo

Managers of a new emergency loan program for McLean County businesses say the second round of federal aid through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) has, so far, muted response to the county's stimulus effort.

Uptown Normal
Eric Stock / WGLT

Business and government leaders in McLean County say they are encouraged Gov. JB Pritzker's plan to reopen Illinois will give them a chance to open the local economy safely, but maybe not as swiftly as some had hoped.


The Bloomington City Council heard presentations Monday night from several social service agencies addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as numerous citizens upset over last week’s vote against a possible direct aid program.

Rivian Automotive sign
Eric Stock / WGLT

UPDATED 4:15 p.m. | The electric automaker Rivian will be able to claim its local property-tax breaks after meeting the minimum hiring and plant investment thresholds for the 2019 tax year, officials said.

Patrick Hoban
WGLT file photo

The head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council thinks the full scope of a financial crisis from the COVID-19 outbreak may not be known for a few months.

A screen with a virtual meeting
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

McLean County Board Finance Committee members Wednesday evening asked Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council Director Patrick Hoban to develop guidelines to repurpose money from a business creation fund to help existing businesses hit by pandemic-caused shutdowns.
Eric Stock / WGLT

A group of civic organizations in McLean County has launched a website that aims to address concerns employers, workers and their families may have about how COVID-19 is affecting life here.

U.S. capitol building
Bloomington-Normal EDC

McLean County government and business leaders are headed to Washington on a fact-finding mission to explore the in-and-outs of smart cities planning.

Agracel building
Eric Stock / WGLT

A technology and logistics company has announced plans to open an office in Bloomington and hire about 150 workers within its first year.

big room with seated people and display screens.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The new head of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council promised regular updates on development efforts during a joint Bloomington City Council, Normal Town Council, and McLean County Board meeting Monday night.

The vice president of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council said a change in data surveyed is a step in the right direction to better recruiting new businesses to the community.

Rivian plant exterior
Eric Stock / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal community was charged up Thursday after Amazon announced its 100,000-van purchase from Rivian—the largest order ever for electric delivery vehicles.

EDC President Sets Sights On Suburban Businesses

Aug 22, 2019
Patrick Hoban
WGLT file photo

The Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council’s new CEO says his first plan of action is to work on business retention and expansion.

Brandt Industries
Bloomington-Normal EDC

The Bloomington Normal Economic Development Council has picked the economic development manager from the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park to head the EDC. 

Mike, Mark, and John
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Every year leaders across McLean County gather to discuss the State of the County. This year, the county celebrated Rivian and Brandt Industries for providing continued economic development.

Mike O'Grady speaking at podium
Facebook/BN EDC

One of McLean County's main economic development firms will be looking to help diversify the workforce as it looks for a new leader.

Zach Dietmeier
Bloomington-Normal EDC

Bloomington's move to create its own economic development department comes as welcome news to an agency that's working to bring more business to the community.

Tim Gleason
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Bloomington plans to spend $200,000 less on funding for the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and BN Advantage next year.

Connect Transit buses
Staff / WGLT

Economic developers in McLean County have created a wish list of four projects to seek federal funding.

Elise Amendola / Associated Press

The company that owns Marshalls department stores plans to open a location in Bloomington-Normal in fall 2019.