Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Some Bloomington-Normal community members are criticizing Connect Transit for purchasing electric buses. The transportation agency at the time said by using state and federal grants, the buses will be paid for with “no local funding.”

Blue Rivian on display
Twitter / @Rivian

Nearly two years after Rivian first arrived in Normal, community members will finally be able to see the company’s first electric vehicles in person.

Map of BN with blue in it
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

State officials said Monday that Bloomington’s west side and neighborhoods around Illinois State University were among the hardest-hit by the war on drugs – and those living there should get a leg up when cannabis becomes legal next year.

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.

While the Peoria area is showing job growth, it still lags national averages.

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.

View of the warehouse
Google Maps

Bloomington-Normal has all sorts of recreation options that improve our quality of life.

Soon we may add axe-throwing to the list.

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.

State Farm building exterior
Eric Stock / WGLT

UPDATED 12:30 p.m. | State Farm announced Friday it's found another interested buyer for its downtown Bloomington building, potentially saving it from demolition.

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.

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