Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

Wes Kingdon poses
Ryan Denham / WGLT

This is the first in a four-part series about how the USDA’s trade relief payments are playing out in Central Illinois. It was produced by WGLT and WCBU.

State Farm HQ
Staff / WGLT

A new report shows State Farm is most of the top patent-producing companies in Illinois.

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.

Chad Leman
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Want to know farmer Chad Leman’s top concern? It’s not the trade dispute with China.

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.

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.

Charging station at Rivian plant
Eric Stock / WGLT

The future of driving will be a system of systems: Cars talking to other cars talking to road sensors talking to traffic signals talking to nearby businesses.

Rich Guebert speaks
Illinois Farm Bureau / Facebook

An economist with the American Farm Bureau visiting Normal this week said the trade dispute with China has shown how “dangerous” overreliance on one customer can be.

Combine harvests corn
Nati Harnik / AP

Central Illinois farmers produce a lot of corn and soybeans. But they also produce tons of data.

Downtown SF building
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 11 a.m. | State Farm said Thursday that it plans to demolish its former downtown Bloomington building after the planned sale fell through.

Google Maps view of the plant
Google Maps

UPDATED 3:40 p.m. | An unknown number of people will lose their jobs after Corteva Agriscience announced Wednesday it is closing its commercial soybean production facility in LeRoy.

Tesla signage outside retail outlet
City of Bloomington

The electric automaker Tesla plans to open its first Illinois sales and service location outside the Chicago area in Bloomington.

Jeff addresses the council
Mary Cullen / WGLT

Bloomington is still mulling over what to do with the city’s year-and-a-half long moratorium on new video gambling licenses. City council members agree they want video gambling to be limited in some way.

Mark Robinson teaches a class
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Four years ago, the big story in the Bloomington-Normal economy was the closure of Mitsubishi’s manufacturing plant and the loss of 1,200 jobs. Some workers got retrained and found new jobs. Others left the area forever.

Marriott exterior
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal hotel industry ended 2018 with the lowest occupancy rate of any metro area in Illinois. And things aren’t much better halfway through 2019.

Door at store says Were Hiring
Charles Krupa / AP

After several months of rising unemployment rates and fewer local positions, the Bloomington-Normal area economy got some good news in Thursday’s state jobs report.

Construction worker at a home project
Charles Krupa / AP

Prices were up but the pace of sales slowed in May as the Bloomington-Normal housing market entered its busy selling season.

Protesters hold Fight for $15 signs outside a restaurant
M. Spencer Green / AP

McLean County’s consistently low unemployment rate has long been a point of pride. (Thanks, State Farm and Illinois State University.)

Yet the jobless rate doesn’t tell the whole story of what it’s like to live and work here.

RJ and Alex
Rivian / YouTube

UPDATED 12:10 p.m. | The electric automaker Rivian has announced two new sustainability efforts, including plans to grow food outside its Normal manufacturing plant that will be served to its employees.

Janet at the counter
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Janet Mariani needed a home for her first business—an ice cream shop. She chose Downtown Bloomington.

Original Steak n Shake location
McLean County Museum of History

Greg Snodgrass started at Steak ’n Shake as a bus boy in 1979 in Bloomington-Normal.

Worker welding
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

A new report makes the case that manufacturing is still a vital cog in Illinois’ economic engine—especially downstate.

unemployment office signage
BYTEMARKS /CREATIVE COMMONS/FLICKR

The Bloomington-Normal area economy has lost 1,000 jobs in the past year, mostly in the financial services sector, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

Lincoln stares off into distance
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Surrounded by farmland as far as the eye can see, Lincoln Slagel showed off a crop you don't see too often here in central Illinois: hops.

Bloomington-Normal Unemployment Rate Rises In March

Apr 25, 2019
LYNNE SLADKY / AP

Unemployment is up in the Bloomington-Normal area, with 4,650 people out of work, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

Bill Ford and RJ Scaringe
Ford Motor Co.

Ford plans to invest $500 million in Rivian and use the electric vehicle startup’s skateboard platform to build a new battery-powered vehicle, the companies announced Wednesday.

AP Photo/Mike Groll

Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part GLT series on how video gambling has played out in Central Illinois. From Monday: Gambling experts and a recovering addict discuss the social costs of gambling.

AP Photo/Mike Groll

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part GLT series on how video gambling has played out in Central Illinois. Coming Tuesday: A deeper look at the effects of video gambling on local government budgets.

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