Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

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.

B-N Jobless Rate Continues To Fall

Oct 24, 2019
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.

Equal Pay: It's More Than Just Salary Negotiation

Aug 22, 2019
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.

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.

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.

State Farm building downtown Bloomington
Eric Stock / WGLT

A community task force that's looking for ways to save State Farm's former downtown headquarters isn't looking for the City of Bloomington to take over the building, according to one of its members who previously served on the city council.

Mitsubishi Motorway sign
Eric Stock / WGLT

Bloomington city staff expects a vote on a proposed highway name change to be a formality, even though it sparked debate in Normal last month.

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.

Rob Dob's artist's rendering
Facebook / Rob Dob's

Bob Dobski was a franchise owner of Bloomington-Normal McDonald’s for 35 years. But instead of retiring, he decided to leap into the world of fine dining.

Google Maps view of the plant
Google Maps

Less than a week after the sudden closure of a major employer, LeRoy is hosting a job fair for displaced workers and other jobseekers.

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