Business owners weigh-in on Peoria food truck debate

Feb 3, 2015

Peoria is taking another look at whether to allow food trucks to operate in the city. The question is resurfacing more than two years after a narrow defeat by the city council. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports some business owners and one food truck owner are weighing-in on what seems to be a polarizing issue:

Deere Lays Off 900

Jan 23, 2015

Deere and Company will lay off 900 workers in Iowa and Illinois, as it anticipates declines in sales of farm equipment. But the Quad Cities' workforce won't be hit quite as hard as in Des Moines and Waterloo.

Friday, Deere announced 565 employees at three Waterloo facilities will lose their jobs, along with 300 at the Des Moines Works in Ankeny.

CEO of Peoria-area business group retiring

Jan 15, 2015

The CEO of the Greater Peoria Business Alliance is retiring in late April. Cal MacKay took the helm at the Alliance after coming out of retirement in 2012. The heads of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and CEO Council are permanently take over MacKay’s duties. The Alliance used to be known as the Heartland Partnership

State to authorize 97 Enterprise Zones

Dec 8, 2014

The development tool known as an Enterprise Zone is supposed to be for depressed areas that need the particular attention of government to attract private sector investment. The state is preparing to authorize 97 E-Zones in the next several years that would provide income, sales, and property tax breaks for business location. 

Peoria County’s program aimed at helping minority and women business owners is preparing to enter its next phase. But Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports on some possible growing pains with the program:

Continuing its emphasis on conservation, the US Department of Agriculture has awarded some new grants for Illinois, Iowa, and 29 other states.

Clydesdales visiting Washington this week

Aug 18, 2014

A popular team of horses are setting up camp in Washington, Illinois this week. The Budweiser Clydesdales are setting up at Uftring Chevy of Washington through this Sunday. Candy Liggin is with the Washington Chamber of Commerce. She says the Clydesdales could also boost interest in a Chamber ‘passport’ contest that enters people in prize drawings for visiting different businesses around town:

A well-known retail business opened its doors in Peoria’s Warehouse District Tuesday. Running Central re-located from its Peoria Heights location to 311 Water Street.  The specialty running store originally opened on Main Street in Peoria six years ago, but moved to Peoria Heights in 2011 to expand.  Owner Adam White says the downtown location is ideal for the business:


The latest plan from Republican nominee for governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to "end unfair deals and tax breaks for big corporations."

USDA announces expanded business funding in Pekin

Jun 13, 2014

Pekin now qualifies for new USDA rural development loans and grant funding. A change in the farm bill allows larger populations cities like Pekin to apply. Dwight Reynolds is with the USDA. He says the funding can help cities, business owners, and individuals get better loan terms and lower interest rates:

Cat consolidating plants, affecting 170 IL workers

Jun 6, 2014

170 Caterpillar employees are losing their jobs as the company consolidates four plants into one. Cat says its consolidating two plants in Sterling and one in Dixon into its facility in Menominee, Michigan. 

Area business owners in Washington want residents to use traffic detours as part of Business Route 24 remains closed.  They say the repair of pavement damage at a railroad viaduct has turned people away from eating and shopping in the area.  Jim Linsley owns Lindy’s downtown Market near the city square. He says his customer count was down 320 people last week:

Peoria’s Main and University intersection officially opened Monday after months of construction and improvements. The $2.6 million project includes pedestrian-friendly bumpouts, raised pavement to slow traffic, and three lanes on Main and University for several blocks.  Peoria City Engineer Scott Reeise says the short construction timeline was an aggressive pace:

FedEx moving airport operations out of Peoria

May 9, 2014

FedEx is terminating its operations from the Peoria International Airport. The company is reportedly moving its operations to the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. FedEx business is just under half of total air cargo flights out of the Peoria airport.  Airport Director Gene Olson says FedEx is moving to make their operations more efficient. The Peoria Airport Authority is working to find a replacement service to occupy the FedEx space at the airport. It’s unclear when FedEx will move its cargo plane services to Bloomington.

Galesburg lands Calif. manufacturing company

May 8, 2014

A California company has re-located to Galesburg. Pegasus Manufacturing plans to hire 17 people initially, and eventually have up to 30 employees. Director of Operations, Ray Whitehead, says Pegasus makes precision parts for a range of industries and companies, including the BNSF Railroad, Apple Computer, and Harley Davidson.

Quinn, Rauner make their case with business leaders

May 7, 2014

The two men dueling to be Illinois' next governor tried Wednesday to win over business leaders with their plans for the state's finances. They both made appearances before a joint meeting of Illinois' retailers and manufacturers, in Springfield.  

Woodruff students launch t-shirt business

Apr 29, 2014
Denise Molina-Weiger

Some students at Woodruff Career and Technical Center are learning what it takes to run their own business thanks to community donations. The school was able to purchase a new t-shirt press along with a printer and ink with 15-hundred dollars in private donations. 10 students within Woodruff’s Contemporary Classroom used the press to make two different t-shirt orders for other District 150 Schools. Woodruff teachers involved students from the art, business and science departments for the project.

Area labor and environmental groups both see the need to grow sustainable energy markets in Illinois.  The question seems to be the best way to make the transition.  Both groups met in Peoria Wednesday during a meeting hosted by State Senator Dave Koehler and Representative Jehan Gordon.  Koehler says it’s positive to have both groups talk about ways to keep or grow new jobs during the transition to wind, solar and other forms of clean energy:

Bloomberg is reporting a U.S. Senate investigative panel is examining Caterpillar.  The investigative panel is reportedly examining whether the company avoided U.S. taxes by moving profits outside the country. 

Healthy lead for Rauner in governor’s race

Mar 11, 2014

The Illinois primary is a week away--and businessman Bruce Rauner has a healthy lead in the Republican race for governor.  The billionaire venture capitalist has made job creation a capstone of his campaign, and says he understands how hard it is for families to get ahead in Illinois.

A recently-suspended tradition in Peoria returns this Spring with help from the Community Foundation of Central Illinois and the Women's Fund. The groups are hosting the 35th annual Women To Women Leader Luncheon. The YWCA started the event in 1978. But the tradition didn't go on last year when the cash-strapped YWCA ceased operating. Christine Shay chairs the Women's Fund Board. She says former YWCA officials asked if the Women's Fund could continue the luncheon: 

State Farm praises 2013 financial results

Feb 28, 2014

State Farm Insurance is reporting gains in net income, net worth, and underwriting premiums last year. Bloomington Normal's largest employer benefited from a friendly stock market as the company's net worth increased more than $10 billion to a record total of nearly $76 billion.

LaHood joins Proterra board of directors

Feb 18, 2014

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is joining the Board of Directors for Proterra.  The company makes electric bus fleets.  

Hick’ry Stick closing Elmwood location

Jan 31, 2014

Elmwood is planning to close that location February 15th.  The Peoria County Board approved loaning Hick’ry Stick $88,000 two years ago to help expand.  That was after some board members expressed concern that there wasn’t enough financial information presented before lending the money.  Mark Rothert is Assistant Peoria County Administrator for Economic Development. He says the County has made changes to how it loans money since that time:

Madigan wants to cut corporate income tax

Jan 30, 2014

The Illinois House Speaker is calling for a cut in the state’s corporate income tax rate.

Washington launches shop local campaign amid recovery

Dec 19, 2013

Washington is focused on financial as well as physical recovery from last month's tornado.  The city's Chamber of Commerce launched a new campaign called 'Visit, Shop, Eat Washington'.  Mayor Gary Manier says the goal is to get residents from other communities to shop in the town:

IL Gov. candidate weighs-in on ADM headquarters

Dec 10, 2013

A newly merged Office Depot chose to locate its headquarters in Florida, instead of Illinois.  A Republican candidate for governor says Illinois needs to hurry if it doesn't want a similar fate with ADM.

A look at Galesburg’s Sustainable Business Center

Nov 18, 2013

The newest tenant at Galesburg’s Sustainable Business Center is a coffee shop called Jerry’s Mojo.  However, the owner is only at the Center when he parks the shop at the end of the day.  IPR’s Scott Stuntz explains:

Supreme Court Strikes Down "Amazon Tax"

Oct 18, 2013

The Illinois Supreme Court today struck down the so-called "Amazon tax."  As IPR's Brian Mackey reports, the decision could pave the way for businesses to make more money online.

 Audio FileIPR's Brian Mackey reporting.Edit | Remove

BEST Talks aim to help Peoria-area businesses

Oct 8, 2013

Area small and medium-sized businesses can hear free monthly presentations on ways to grow their outreach. Bradley University's Turner Center for Entrepreneurship is partnering with a marketing company to offer the BEST Talk series.