Business and Economy | WGLT

Business and Economy

RJ with the pickup truck in LA
Ryan Denham

Rivian wowed a crowd of investors and other VIPs on Monday as the EV startup’s pickup made its first public appearance under—and in front of—the stars in Los Angeles. 

Truck in the dirty
Rivian

Rivian’s pickup knows how to make an entrance.

Its headlights (and really the entire front end) are signature. Instead of horizontally shaped, the oval headlights are vertical—like you’re looking down at two LED-illuminated mini stadiums. They’re connected by a horizontal bar of light stretching side to side.

Local Unemployment Rate Rises In October

Nov 21, 2018
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Bloomington-Normal area economy's unemployment rate increased by half of a percentage point between September and October, rising to 4.1 percent.

Danny Kogan

Illinois State University’s College of Business hosted its 8th annual Startup Showcase this month, with 15 student entrepreneurs competing for cash prizes to advance their business plan.

Rivian screenshot
Rivian / YouTube

Two years ago when Bloomington-Normal first met Rivian, it looked like a one-man band. R.J. Scaringe was seemingly the face, the brains, and the extent of the operation.

Not anymore.

Power pole
Ameren

Ameren Illinois has won approval from state regulators to begin construction next year on a $21 million transmission line project that will stretch across McLean County.

Interior of Green Top
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

With a successful fundraising campaign keeping the doors open, Green Top Grocery will turn its attention to the busy holiday season.

Pabts on a shelf
Ivan Moreno / AP

Pabst Brewing Company and MillerCoors are heading to trial to settle a contract dispute in which Pabst accuses the brewing giant of trying to undermine its competitor by breaking a contract to make their products.

Combine with corn
Seth Perlman / AP

Nearly 1,000 acres of high-quality farmland are expected to turn into millions of dollars in donations to Illinois Wesleyan University and two other nonprofits during a highly anticipated auction Tuesday.

Scaringe speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal residents won’t have to wait very long after the LA Auto Show to see Rivian’s first two vehicles firsthand—or to shop for one.

West Bloomington Revitalization Project
Facebook / WBRP

Anyone looking to start or expand a business in west Bloomington can get financial help from a new microloan program.

Biaggi's
Eric Stock / WGLT

When Todd Hovenden opened Biaggi's Italian restaurant in Bloomington in 1999, he had never run a restaurant before. 

Deanna and Adam
Ryan Denham / WGLT

What’s the average commute time in Bloomington-Normal? How many patents do our entrepreneurs win each year? What’s the median rent for those living in the Twin Cities?

Laurie Bell and Arthur Haynes
Eric Stock / WGLT

A group of business owners and west Bloomington advocates has launched an effort to bring a full service grocery store and shopping plaza to that part of the community.

Tony's Tacos storefront
Facebook / Bloomington-Normal Restaurant Scene

Bloomington-Normal tends to get excited whenever a new chain restaurant opens. But this fall there are several locally opened restauranteurs who are opening their doors to customers.

Facing Debt, Green Top Grocery Asks Owners For Help

Sep 17, 2018
Customers and staff outside Green Top with produce
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Green Top Grocery must raise at least $300,000 this fall or risk closing its doors.

Corn and soybean fields as far as the eye can see are the typical sights of summer throughout rural areas of Illinois. But next year, 'fields of green' will take on an entirely different meaning as farmers will soon be allowed to grow industrial hemp. 

Delta airplanes on runway
Charles Krupa / AP

Central Illinois travelers looking for a nonstop flight to Detroit will have to spend some time in the car first.

WGLT/Ryan Denham

Weeks after another anchor-store closure at Eastland Mall, Bloomington-Normal business leaders are grappling with the future of retail.

Gary Smith has worked at the grain elevator at Okaw Farmer’s Co-op in Lovington, Illinois, for forty years. On his desk sit two computer screens, where he tracks corn and soybean prices online at the Chicago Board of Trade.

As he explains, trade moves fast: “Just bam bam bam, and within a few seconds it could change a nickel or a dime against your favor.”

Judy and Jeff pose outside GLT
Ryan Denham / WGLT

If you're looking for the federal government to fix the American health care system, Jeff Bauer says you're looking in the wrong place.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

The grand opening of Bakery & PickleEpiphany Farms Hospitality Group’s newest venture, is right around the corner. The private dinner club is unlike any other in Bloomington-Normal, transforming into a speakeasy-style bar after hours.

Farm towns in Illinois have been shrinking for decades, and the trend doesn’t show signs of reversing.

By 2025, rural counties with populations of less than 10,000 people will see 7.4 percent of their residents leave, while counties with populations between 10,000 and 25,000 will lose 5.4 percent. That’s according to projections from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Home with For Sale sign
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The local Realtors president said corporate relocations helped the Bloomington-Normal real estate market play some catchup during an especially busy July.

Sears
Eric Stock / WGLT

Eastland Mall's owner says it sees Sears' plans to close this fall as an opportunity to further redefine what a modern mall looks like.

Chad at the bar
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A few years ago, Brandon Leach and Zack Poleto were ready to open their pop-up restaurant in Bloomington, inspired by their favorite dishes from all over the world.

BERNARD GOITEIN / CENTER FOR BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH, BRADLEY UNIVERSITY

The Peoria area's economy saw improved labor market conditions during the second quarter of 2018.

Combine harvests corn in a field
Seth Perlman / AP

In many ways, the history of farming is about its future—how we went from hand tools and horses to self-driving tractors and $10,000-an-acre farmland.

Construction worker at a home project
Charles Krupa / AP

Ten years after the Great Recession, a new housing crisis has developed in America. You’ve been hearing reports all week on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, about those who’ve been shut out of the housing market. Here's a look at how the homebuilding slowdown is playing out in Bloomington-Normal.

Biaggi's exterior
Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano / Facebook

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano is moving, while the company is planning a second restaurant in Bloomington.

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