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beer tap room
Lil Beaver Brewery

The pandemic has hurt so many businesses in central Illinois. But not, apparently, some alcohol producers.

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

Following weeks of disputes that included social media flame wars, allegations of misfeasance, and even allegations of death threats on a Facebook members group, the entire board of the Green Top Grocery Co-op in Bloomington has resigned. It follows at least two previous board resignations.

Eastland Mall exterior
Staff / WGLT

The owner of Eastland Mall says it has “substantial doubt” about its future as it’s unable to collect rent from most of its retail tenants that are struggling because of the pandemic.

Town of Normal

A decaying, unfinished industrial property in Normal could become viable again if a development agreement is approved with a Milwaukee-based firm.

PRitzker in studio
Cindy Le / WGLT

Gov. JB Pritzker released industry-specific guidelines Sunday that tell businesses what they must do in the next phase of reopening during the pandemic.

All four regions of the state are on track to advance to Phase 3 of the plan in the coming days, said Pritzker. Retail, offices, manufacturing, barbershops and salons, summer programs, various outdoor recreation activities and bars and restaurants for outdoor dining will all be able to resume business in some form under the plan.

bags of edible marijuana in chocolate
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A half-dozen people lined up to buy McLean County's first recreational cannabis at the first opportunity Monday morning.

two people wearing masks donate money for the Bistro.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A young queer man walked by the shuttered entrance to the Bistro in downtown Bloomington and said to owner Jan Lancaster, “Hi Mom.” She gets that a lot.

Congressman Rodney Davis at a microphone.
Staff / WGLT

Central Illinois lawmakers have reacted to a lawsuit by a southern Illinois state representative by pointing to what it might influence rather than any legal result it might have.

Dollar Tree sign
Eric Stock / WGLT

The U.S. Labor Department said it will fine Dollar Tree $233,255 for repeat violations at a Bloomington store.

A bicycle repair stand.
Facebook

This time of year is usually a peak period for bicycle stores as warmer weather prompts central Illinois residents to buy a set of wheels or fix up what they have in the garage. Gov. JB Pritzker's shutdown order designates bicycle stores as essential businesses. And even with the pandemic, the bicycle business is, well, peaking as usual.

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.

Inside the Bridgestone plant in Normal
Monty Greutman / Bridgestone

The Bridgestone tire plant in Normal will shut down starting this weekend to avoid coronavirus-related problems, the company said in a news release Thursday.

Chris Koos
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Mayor Chris Koos of Normal said the town will enforce the restaurant and bar closure ordered by the governor because of the coronavirus.

Mike McCurdy / WGLT

The coronavirus is affecting businesses in central Illinois even before the first actual case comes to the region.

Planning Commissioners meet
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Members of the Planning Commission in Normal expressed skepticism of Town Council member Stan Nord even as they unanimously suggested approval for a site plan for his property.

State Farm HQ building
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Bloomington-based State Farm is getting out of banking. The company on Thursday announced plans for U.S. Bank to take over existing deposits and credit card accounts.

Mural and Beaufort buildings
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Many factors influence how much rent the Town of Normal charges tenants of town-owned property, according to the mayor of Normal.

West Bloomington Revitalization Project
Facebook / WBRP

The West Bloomington Revitalization Project wants to build the economy with teeny tiny loans.

Normal City Hall
Staff / WGLT

The head of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce said he disagrees with Normal Town Council member Stan Nord's view that "business and government should not be doing things together."

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal
Staff / WGLT

Additional coverage: You can also read or listen to a full Q&A with Advocate BroMenn President Colleen Kannaday, airing Friday on WGLT's Sound Ideas.

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal and Advocate Eureka Hospital are changing hands. Urbana-based Carle will acquire BroMenn and Eureka.

Now hiring sign
Charles Krupa / AP

Bloomington Normal's unemployment rate dropped a full point from November of last year, down to 3.1%. But the Illinois Department of Employment Security also reports the size of the workforce was unchanged over the 12-month period at 93,500.

State estimates indicate 3,000 people were out of work and looking for a job in November 2019. That’s lower than for most months of the 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.

Rivian Amazon van
Business Wire

The retail giant Amazon announced Thursday it plans to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian as part of a larger effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

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.

Pantagraph Owner Sees Growth In Digital

Aug 8, 2019
The Pantagraph building signage
Eric Stock / WGLT

The parent company of The Pantagraph reported Thursday increased digital subscriptions and advertisers in its third quarter.

RJ on stage
Ryan Denham / WGLT

If all goes as planned, in a few years Rivian will be one of McLean County’s largest employers. Around 1,000 employees at its Normal manufacturing plant will be cranking out Rivian electric vehicles and skateboard platforms for other automakers.

But for now, local unions say Rivian isn’t being a good neighbor.

Picture of an H2 hotel
Town of Normal

The Normal Planning Commission will take up a proposal for a new hotel in the Constitution Trail Center on the north side of town.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he's in favor of better communication with student landlords.

Dietz said he will meet next month with apartment owners concerned the university is building up to 1,200 new student beds in a pod format.

City Hall
Staff / WGLT

The City of Bloomington has suspended its business registration program.

How #MeToo Is Scaring Men From Mentoring Women

Feb 12, 2019
Kyle Ciani and Scott Jordan
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Women make up less than 5 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. That leaves most women to be mentored by the men who hold positions of power.

But in the era of #MeToo, some men are growing nervous about taking on a female mentee for fear of a sexual harassment or assault claim being filed against them should the mentorship go awry.

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