Think the local economy is booming?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Obviously there are a lot of empty big retail spaces.  Tax receipts in both Bloomington and Normal are down.  I’ve talked to apartment owners who can’t find renters.

This morning I got a call from the personal assistant of an owner of a commercial building.  She wanted to know if I was looking for space to rent.  Since I only vaguely know the building’s owner and my business isn’t listed anywhere locally, I have no idea why I would be contacted.  My first thought is desperation to rent the space.  (I’m not listed locally because I don’t do business with the general public, most of my customers are not local)

New York state is run by Democrats.  Why are Democrats running ads to lure businesses to their state promising no taxes for 10 years?  Do they secretly understand that businesses flock to low tax states and flee the high tax ones?  Do they secretly know that allowing capitalism to be practiced without government interference works?

The Democratic mayors of both Bloomington and Normal haven’t gotten the message.  Both think they have a right to dictate what economic development takes place AND they believe they can create it.  Both have raised taxes and both are going to raise taxes again.  Both are also up for reelection early in 2017.

There is now a battle for the survival of both cities.  If the big spending boats aren’t turned around both cities will sink.  Being in Illinois is bad, this area has only survived because of State Farm.  More SF employees ( a lot of them!) are being offered the opportunity to relocate to one of the new hubs.  Why stay?  If Renner and Koos don’t know what is really going on inside of State Farm they are ignoring the obvious.

Now is the time for good people to step up to run in 2017.  Elections aren’t won in the 2 months prior to voting.  Relationships have to be formed, citizens have to be courted.  Bloomington will again have 5 Council seats up for election, including Alderman Kevin Lower.  He will be attacked mercilessly for voicing opinions opposed to the liberals.  Without Kevin, Bloomington is just like Normal.  Tax, spend, tax, spend, total meeting time 10-15 minutes.

Instead of voting with your feet, how about staying and fighting back?  Both cities need good conservative leadership.  Is that you?  Email me!  ([email protected])

If you need commercial space – I’ve got the info for you.  With Renner and Koos in charge, for the next two years it should be cheap.




9 thoughts on “Think the local economy is booming?

  1. I don’t go to Normal much, no pun intended, but if you drive around Bloomington there are a lot of places sitting empty. some old and some new buildings. Some of the new may have been a result of the build it they will come spending spree pre 2008. The city manager wants to hack up Highland Golf course to provide even more retail space according one of his comments. Maybe he is expecting more Dollar General stores. Even they have their occupancy limit.

    I have no real inside info about State Farm to speak of but I do hear people are leaving and new hires go elsewhere. One has to wonder when the new CEO takes over what will happen. Competition in the insurance industry is big. A person has a lot of choices in that market. To compete SF is going to have to become more leaner and efficient. The lifetime agent acquaintance is a thing of the past in my opinion.

    More and more retailers are going on line so why shop locally and pay the taxes. There must be a boatload of $$$ in lost tax revenues taking place.


  2. Both Koos and Renner still believe that the local economy cocoon safety that we’ve enjoyed for years will continue forever. Not so with SF leaving and the reality of the outside world. Normal’s unsustainable debt will bring that town down and Renner is on the same path to wreck BLM. Their visions are short sighted with blinders on.


    1. Honestly I have lived in this area most of my life and it is not the boom town that it once was. Look at all of the major employers that have left over the years. Funks Seed, GTE, Modine, GE, Eureka just to name a few. You could once open up the firewood starting paper and find a lot of jobs listed locally. Not so any more. What has replaced those jobs are low wage jobs.


  3. I travel all over the state. this allows me to see so many closed buildings that once had a business in them but they are now gone. I dont care what any one says this state is crumbling fast and hard. how many box restaurants can we support. Walgreens has stopped expanding as well as CVS. yes Dollar general is still expanding but they are reaching an over saturation point. Big R has been on a growth spurt but how many other stores have closed. Caterpillar and Case have let people go which in turn the suppliers and support companies let people go. but most people live in a small bubble they call home and just believe what they are told without every seeing it for themselves. oh wait till the state shuts down and all those workers hit the street. and all the companies that support the state cant support their people.


  4. When SF first started talking about their other offices, I saw a very good comment on the pantagraphs website. The commenter said something to the effect of SF being a good citizen in letting BN know way in advance that they could no longer count on SF being the engine of growth in this town. Most companies would never give that much insight into their business strategy. Of course our local leaders have done nothing to respond.

    My concern is that they will slowly move jobs out of town which will cause a gradual decline in house value as people who have retired move or pass away leaving a glut of houses on the market and not much of other people’s money to spend.

    I have to admit, if I was offered a choice between a paid move out of this state or my current job, I’m not sure what I would do. Even if BN is turned around, being a free market limited government town in Illinois is not saying much.


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