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Business

Rivian sign and plant photo
WGLT file photo

Rivian has leased the Phoenix Investors warehouse in north Normal as part of its ramp-up to production.

Bloomington City Hall
Staff / WGLT

The mayor of Bloomington said he will spend his waning months in office trying to revive a unified emergency telephone and dispatch service.

Adam Stephey

Two Normal residents are a long way from where they were in 2017 with their Toilet Timer, when they first visited WGLT.

Chris Koos
Cindy Le / WGLT

The mayor of Normal said he's had to eat his words from a couple weeks ago when he argued McLean County didn't need mitigation efforts that were as stiff as those in counties with higher COVID-19 testing positivity rates.

front of old Bloomington Fire Station that is now a restaurant
Epiphany Farms / Facebook

Epiphany Farms Restaurant Group in Bloomington laid off more than 80 people Friday. Three of its four restaurants are effectively closed.

image of State Senator Bill brady
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady is calling again for Senate hearings on mitigation rules as coronavirus positivity rates spike statewide.

IWU campus building
SBDC

The Small Business Development Center at Illinois Wesleyan University has seen improvement in the last three months after a big drop in activity during the early part of the pandemic.

western exposure of hobhby lobby building
Town of Normal

There could be a new entry in the gym industry in Bloomington-Normal.

Chris Koos
WGLT file photo

It’s hard right now. Central Illinois residents have removed themselves from many of their friends and familiar activities to prevent the spread of the virus. Yet cases are climbing again in McLean County as central Illinois moved from phase 3 to phase 4 of the state's Restore Illinois reopening plan.

Steven Senne / AP

Growing up Tricia Braid didn’t envision herself running her own pet cremation business. But when an opportunity arose she realized she would be a perfect fit for the job.

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.

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