Business and Economy

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

For the first time in 22 years, Jim Ardis won't have a seat saved for him around the horseshoe in the Peoria City Council chambers.

Peoria-area farmers have reason to head into the 2021 planting season with a positive outlook.

Caterpillar Inc. / YouTube

A new Caterpillar video may pay tribute to "American Ninja Warrior," but it also highlights the high demand for more Caterpillar service technicians at dealerships.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, Downtown Peoria will see residential growth in 2021.

Tory Dahlhoff / WCBU

On her small family farm outside Princeton, Ill., Rachel Berry, founder and CEO of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association, stands in front of a giant bale of hemp stalks that resembles an oversized bird’s nest. She pulls a small hardcover book from a basket full of various goods made from the fiber and woody pulp of hemp stems.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed through Congress along party lines and signed into law by President Joe Biden last week is welcome assistance for many in Peoria-area local government.

Courtesy Cafe Santa Rosa

Café Santa Rosa is renovating an abandoned three-story building at Knoxville and Archer. It's part of an effort to grow its Junction City-based sustainable coffee business.

Daniel Musisi / WCBU

The Peoria Chiefs will allow limited in-person fan attendance at Dozer Park this season.

Mike Rundle / WCBU

Upon their first introduction to Sankoty Lakes Resort, residents of Spring Bay may have felt that it was a gift from heaven.

Norm Walzer moderated a program on rural policy at the 32nd annual Rural Affairs Conference last Thursday by the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

Courtesy Google Maps Street View

PMP Fermentation Products is a company with some 50 employees operating on the Peoria riverfront, overlooking a public housing project and the RiverPlex Recreation Center.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is awarding a $950,000 grant to the City of Peoria through its Illinois Rebuild: Shovel Ready program to help fund rehabilitation of the former Tabor property on the city's South Side.

Courtesy Discover Peoria

Running a small business is hard. Those challenges are compounded for Black small business owners. WCBU Student Reporter Jordan Mead explores how local entrepreneurs are breaking down those barriers.

Courtesy Goodwill Central Illinois

Goodwill donation drop-off locations and retail stores are ubiquitous. Less obvious is the nonprofit’s job placement services that assist job seekers with everything from resume writing, online applications and mock interviews to new uniforms and transportation.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Finding a job as the pandemic wears on is proving difficult for many. Individuals with disabilities can face even larger hurdles. One Peoria-based organization is finding success despite the pandemic.

Barn III Dinner Theatre via Facebook

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in 2021 will not look as it has in past years, but that does not mean couples cannot have a memorable - and safe - holiday.

Natural Fiber Welding rendering

Natural Fiber Welding is opening a 110,000-square-foot manufacturing facility just south of downtown Peoria.

The parent company of WEEK-TV and Heart of Illinois ABC is selling the stations to an Atlanta, Ga.-based broadcasting company.

Investors are taking Caterpillar's fourth-quarter earnings report as a positive sign for heavy industry.

The company reported fourth-quarter sales and revenues of $11.2 billion, or $2.12 profit per share. Barron's reports most analysts expected earnings per share closer to $1.50.

Caterpillar shares were up about 3.5% before markets opened Friday morning.

aag_photos / Flickr/Creative Commons

While 2020 was tough for many businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Peoria's real estate market enjoyed one of its best years on record.

Cafe Santa Rosa / Facebook

With the region's move back to Tier 1 COVID mitigations, some Peoria restaurants are offering indoor dining as an option for the first time in weeks.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

With Gov. JB Pritzker officially allowing Region 2 to move back to lighter COVID-19 restrictions, some businesses are now able to reopen their doors to customers--again.

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Have you ever wondered what the person on the other side of the screen thinks of your home during a Zoom meeting? Until now, a lot of us haven't.

Courtesy Google Maps Street View

First District city council member Denise Moore has withdrawn a proposal before the Peoria City Council to approve the use of $550,000 in TIF funds to purchase a former grocery store building at 210 S. Western Ave.


Allegiant Airlines has announced it will be adding two new destinations to the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.

Exterior of a bank
Google Maps

Commerce Bank says its employee-funded political action committee (PAC) will no longer give money to members of Congress who have "impeded the peaceful transfer of power."

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Barb Hoffman, a travel agent for Direct Travel in Peoria, said 2020 was a year like no other when it came to her industry.

CityLink, the Peoria-area transit system, faced a variety of challenges due to the coronavirus in 2020, but fared better than systems in many larger cities, said General Manager Doug Roelfs.

The pandemic hit the airline industry hard in 2020.

Tory Dahlhoff / WCBU

We recently shared the story of Peoria High School senior Imani Abdul, one of the members of the Woodruff Career and Technical Center’s culinary team that won the ProStart state competition last March, but were denied a chance to attend the national competition due to the pandemic.