Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

Dreams Are Possible mural
Eric Stock / WGLT

A free job training site for women is starting its first classes Monday after renovating a dilapidated building on Bloomington's west side.

Eastland Mall exterior
Staff / WGLT

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Rivian employee works on battery
Twitter / @Rivian

An auto services company hopes its $350 million investment in Rivian will help it better understand the value of used batteries after they’re pulled out of electric vehicles.

Gracie Weinzierl
Ryan Denham / WGLT

2019 was a memorable year for central Illinois farmers—and not in a good way. Trade disputes cut into prices and drove up anxiety. A soggy planting season led to a late harvest. And just as farmers finally were able to get into this fields this fall, it snowed.

CVS downtown
Google Maps

Downtown Bloomington will soon be losing its CVS store.

Former State Farm building
Eric Stock / WGLT

State Farm essentially gave away its former downtown headquarters to spare a costly demolition after trying to sell the historic building for over a year, according to McLean County records.

Elon with the truck
Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

The electric vehicle world has changed a lot in the year since Rivian revealed its pickup and SUV at the LA Auto Show, with the Detroit automakers and others announcing their own new models.

Uptown before development.
WGLT / Staff

If the past is prologue, there is disagreement on what the past means for Uptown Normal.

A recent report on the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in Normal drew praise from some council members who have seen the area go from dumpy and run down to a vibrant district. The report went to the council without a chance for members to read it beforehand because the TIF administrator was still finishing it up.

Jack Snyder
Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home

One of Bloomington-Normal's most prolific developers is being remembered for his vision and enthusiasm in helping the community grow.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Bloomington-Normal unemployment rate in September dropped nearly half a percentage point from last year as the local workforce grew by 100.

Bridgestone plant in Normal
Staff / WGLT

The Bridgestone Off-Road Tire plant in Normal is nearly finished with a $12 million renovation.

Matt Tall
Rivian

While Uptown Normal was filled with Rivian buzz during Sunday’s community event, the real action is taking place 5 miles west at the automaker’s manufacturing plant.

Scaringe and Pritzker
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Two years after arriving to a community filled with the hopeful and the doubtful, the electric automaker Rivian received an enthusiastic reception Sunday in Uptown Normal as it showed off three vehicles and invited jobseekers to apply at its manufacturing plant.

State Farm downtown
Eric Stock / WGLT

State Farm has announced it has finalized the sale of its former headquarters in downtown Bloomington to a Rockford-based developer that plans to build upscale apartments at the site.

Loyola guard Ben Richardson walking
Brynn Anderson / AP

When the men's basketball team at Loyola University in Chicago defied the odds last year by advancing to the Final Four for the first time in 50 years, the Ramblers became a national sensation.

Racial equity conference
Eric Stock / WGLT

Community planners used U.S. Census data to shed light on racial and ethnic disparities in McLean County during the Town of Normal's Daring Diversity racial equity conference.

Carrillo and Emig
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington's new cannabis task force meets for the first time on Thursday night to help guide the city on policy in advance of recreational marijuana sales becoming legal next year.

Marijuana plant
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The list of Illinois cities saying "no" to marijuana sales keeps growing.

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.

help wanted sign
Charles Krupa / AP

Bloomington-Normal added 300 jobs over the last year as the local unemployment rate dropped nearly a full percentage point.

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.

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.

Bank exterior
Google Maps

Heartland Bank and Trust’s holding company could soon become one of the few Bloomington-based businesses to be publicly traded on the stock market.

Rivian plant from the sky
Rivian

Rivian has attracted another large investment, this time $350 million from Cox Automotive.

Women on a panel discussion
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Illinois State University's College of Arts and Sciences in partnership with YWCA McLean County and the League of Women Voters hosted an equal pay panel Thursday in response to the ongoing call for gender equality.

We Are Hiring paperwork
LYNNE SLADKY / AP

The Bloomington-Normal unemployment rate fell in July as the economy added 200 jobs from this time a year ago.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

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

Eric Stock / WGLT

Bloomington residents voiced their desires for what should occupy the 4.1 acre block that formerly housed Mennonite Hospital and Electrolux at 800 N. Main Street.

“Something that would be economically viable,” Tim Tilton said.

“Something that is respectful of the historic nature of the neighborhood,” Andy Birkey added.

The site of a proposed multi-sport complex
WGLT file photo / WGLT

A Town of Normal official projects local youth and adult sports teams would exceed a consultant’s estimates for what's needed to cover the proposed multisport complex's operational costs.

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