Bloomington is in recession

By:  Diane Benjamin

It’s not me saying Bloomington is in a recession, it’s:

The report doesn’t go into details about Bloomington – just this statement on page 4:
See the entire report HERE

Next month’s primary election just got serious.  Liberal progressives think they need to keep spending money in a recession, conservatives cut taxes so citizens get out of their own recession.

Choose wrong and Bloomington will be in the same death spiral as the State of Illinois.




16 thoughts on “Bloomington is in recession

    1. Most of the articles about Bloomington include the “metro area” evidenced by the listed population. All of the rankings Renner is touting include B/N. The dot on the map is labeled Bloomington so that is what the authors call it.


  1. It’s not surprising given the stastics related to decreased tax revenue, increased cost of living and decreased utility (water) usage. Job growth has declined to the point that Bloomington is in the bottom 10th percentile and the rise in cost of living places Bloomington in the bottom 25th percentile according to Forbes Magazine’s “Best Small Towns for Business and Careers.” Bloomington’s rating dropped from 25th in 2015 to 57th in 2016–quite a different picture than presented by Renner. He and the council are out of touch with reality.


  2. It is not going to get better and I don’t see any of the candidates for mayor with any ideas that will help this town out. One candidate recently tweeted that lowering the sales tax to 6.25% would help keep retail organizations like Macy’s from leaving. This shows me that this individual has no grasp of the real problems facing Bloomington and has no real solutions to build and maintain a viable economic base. I am seeing no one with the vision or intelligence necessary to lead this town into the 21st Century. The Crony Capitalism and 20th Century mindsets that exist here will not be defeated by below average leadership. We all feel that something is changing in Bloomington-Normal. We all are feeling a gentle pull as we drive around the area. That pull is the area beginning to spiral down the economic drain.


  3. This town has a LOT of problems! so many so, that I don’t know WHERE to begin.
    Garbage fees are out of hand, the streets (NOT to mention the water infrastructure ALL the way to Lake Bloomington) is outdated, Downtown NEEDS some form of vitalization-NOT in a hotel, but something to bring people to it. And reducing taxes MIGHT help, but that’s a bandage on a vein cut!
    Bottom line-CUTS in spending!


  4. I keep thinking about the whole attitude of we must build up downtown or the millenials won’t come. It has some truth to it, but there has always been something missing (besides private investment). It hit me reading these comments. Bloomington could have the nicest downtown possible, but if the areas around it are crap, people won’t view the city favorably. Driving to downtown on crappy roads next to broken sidewalks will not make people want to move here.


    1. Millennials will come to our town for challenging jobs/opportunities and then the opportunities/businesses/startups that they and others create (in the private sector) will build the fun things to keep them happy and here. What kind of jobs can we offer innovative intelligent young people in this town? State Farm? Country Companies? Both of these organizations want people to fit into their corporate cultures and are happy spending the rest of their lives keeping their mouths shut and their heads down to move up in their companies. This is a hopeless situation we are in here. The crony capitalism and the 20th Century mindsets will not move this area forward. Their playbook is from the 1990s. I spent two days last week in Champaign talking business owners and city officials. What a difference in attitude and awareness! They are living in 2017- they get it! And the leadership and people of Bloomington-Normal just don’t get it and I don’t think they ever will.


    2. You are correct. Renner keeps missing the point when referring to downtown being the “historic core.” The core includes the historic neighborhoods and its infrastructure. Millennials are beginning to start families and are looking for well paying jobs so they can purchase their starter home in the peripheral neighborhoods.


  5. Lawrence, once again you bring up great points. The “local” employers want cubicle mind set people WITH NO thoughts of leadership. This is also reflected in our town leaders. There are cities in areas that one would THINK would be boring, but are really attractive! Wichita comes to mind, as does a town as small as Kalispell, MT. And unfortunately “our” local politicians keep beating the drum for down/UPTOWN and just won’t put the drum down!!
    There is a LOT of history here, Heck, WHO knows who John Lennon was and did, where he lived and where he’s buried?? (and not the Beatle J.L.), yeah, I know Mike Matejka knows… Bloomington USED to be an innovative city, but somewhere along the way we flat lined!! MAYBE millenials will or CAN bring that back, but NOT with the city as it is…


    1. When I arrived here in 1970, this was a very different town. This town has deep manufacturing and blue collar roots. We now make almost nothing. The factories and small shops are all gone. The people who live here are vastly different now. We are dominated by corporate people. We have 14,000 + people who fit into State Farm’s corporate culture. In many ways, Bloomington-Normal is a reflection of the people from the dominate employer. Corporate people are not innovators. Corporate people are not working on start-ups. Corporate people are not imaginative. I know innovators and startup millennials in this town who what nothing to do with the local government or the likes of the Chamber of Commerce. If fact, they view both as 20th Century dinosaurs that will do essentially nothing to help them. They want nothing to do with them. They think they are jokes and laugh at their outdated ideas and silly events. What does this say about our government and our business leadership here? It says that the innovators in this town who build successful business will most likely leave when they get a chance. Millennials will be attracted to a community that encourages and helps startups and new businesses. You can build all the parks and bike paths you want but it is technology, innovation, startups and new businesses that will draw and keep young people. I find it hard to believe that anyone with half a brain in leadership does not understand this. This is why I am not optimistic about the economic future of this town. Our leadership and most of our population are clueless about what is happening and what needs to be done to prevent an economic spiral downward.


  6. Just drive around and look at all of the empty buildings. There is one big indicator. It doesn’t seem as though builders are building new homes like they used to also.

    I saw on Facebook that another restaurant closed, “Lone Star”. I never was in the place so I can’t say anything about it. Some blamed the local taxes.


    1. Blame a finite amount of disposable income that goes to “eating out”. The pie is only so big and the more restaurants (especially city subsidized hot dogs stands) the smaller the piece of the pie per restaurant. Less disposable income in the pockets of consumers translates fewer meals out. Of course the Mayor of Normal has said that the subsidized hot dog stand will have a regional draw. So I guess that means that people from surrounding communities and areas will say, “Honey, lets hop in the car and drive 30+ miles to get a hot dog in Normal.” How could anyone be dumb enough to think that people are going to travel long distances for hot dogs? Yes there may be a few idiots who would do it, but thinking this is going to bring significant amounts of money into the town is borderline stupid.


      1. I went to Biasai’s yesterday to pick up an order and I wondered what the new place was going up next to the Lazy Boy business. I just saw a glimpse of the sign and it said something like Chinese chicken I thought. I don’t recall reading or hearing about them seeking city funding relief funds aka tax concessions.

        If I was a restaurant owner I would be out raged about the city funding my competition.


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