BN Advantage Magazine

By:  Diane Benjamin

This link describes what BN Advantage is:

If somebody can explain what it is other than a cheer-leading squad for those who know the “right fit”, please let me know.

Last week BN Advantage mailed a glossy magazine, likely to businesses.  I has 8 pages of members and another 21 pages of the same members listed by category, some with small ads.  I don’t see anything on the website about becoming a member, but they do want to talk to local businesses “to advance a unified region by strengthening our foundation; we cannot do so without your help!”

The magazine is littered with other ads.  It does have a pull out map of the area that may come in handy, if I remember what I did with the magazine.  It also has a list of local leading lawyers and emerging lawyers supposedly earned because of how often their peers recommend them.  If you know anything about the local legal cabal, picking them by that method does nothing to prove competence.

For the budget year starting May 1st, Bloomington cut funding to BN Advantage:  PDF page 247

bloom bn advant Bloomington wants to expand economic development in house.

What does that tell you?

The cover:


Is that the Camelback bridge in the lower left corner?  The Town of Normal is defending a lawsuit because of an accident that happened on the bridge in 2012:

The lawsuit proves one thing:  If you are in an accident, NEVER stand between two cars!

15 thoughts on “BN Advantage Magazine

  1. Here’s what the cover tells me. It’s always a dreary, cloudy day in McLean County. Who approved this cover? Idiots! Unless,,,it’s meant to be a reflection on the local government! LOL!

  2. BN Advantage was conceived about three or four years ago. Most of its original leadership was comprised of the usual local female leadership that has its hands on everything. Its go-to government agency was Regional Planning and its business organization was the Chamber. I really don’t know the depth of EDC involvement if there is any at all. The first chair was Advocate’s Colleen Kannaday and I believe she is still involved. The big push of the organization the was/is to position BN to become a millennial hot spot like Austin, Texas or Seattle. The strategy was/is to make the area entrepreneurial heaven by promoting BN as center for research of all types with a focus on IT. The big dream was to develop a research corridor using Main Street office spaces from downtown Bloomington to ISU. The local universities were seen as big promoters and funders as well as public/private partners. Another portion of the recruiting plan was get trendy NYC and Chicago type eateries, shops and entertainment to come here using the millennial population as a hook. Most of it was based on a “we can do this” “why not us?” kind of baseless strategy. Of course, costs for this was not the first item thought of when it was all being conceived. To make it happen, Austin had to spend and invest billions of dollars, not millions, with a great deal coming from UT-Austin and its university medical center. Have no idea where it is now and who is running the show locally..

  3. Where to begin?! First, I’ll echo an earlier comment…the cover page is awful. All the pictures are cloudy or darker in background contrast. Worse still, thematically it appears the community is a sleepy one-horse town. The main picture is of a completely vacant Uptown. Wow! Like it or not, why wouldn’t they have a picture of a festival in action. There are no people or cars. It almost looks like a developer’s rendering of a proposed building site. Where is the community vibrancy or commercial/business innovation and technology throughout any pictures? The bridge is boring and basic. It looks like it’s under construction while offering no context for the Constitutional Trail. Like most things BN Advantage, they are speaking to (and stroking the egos of) their own local audience. As for BN Advantage itself, they are truly delusional about building a hub for millennials like Austin. By the way, it took decades for Austin to get where it is today with exponentially more money and investment from universities, private businesses, and others. They also grew from an early tech (Dell) and aerospace engineering hub. BN Advantage says they promote entrepreneurship but have done zero – underline, bold, all caps “ZERO” – to foster a culture of entrepreneurship. In fact, they’ve consistently snubbed their noses at a host of promising startups and startup events. Further, their organization and marketing sponsorship is largely driven by cronies who have a vested interest and proven track record in trying to preserve the status quo. If they want the young professional demographic, maybe they ought to talk to them. sounds crazy, I know. Maybe give incentives to promising local startups to get them to grow here. It truly is a sad state of affairs. If they haven’t already, the establishment cronies will overtake BN Advantage and co-opt it as another big government-led economics mouthpiece.

    1. Snubbing noses at staff and people that actually has or had a clue what they were talking about is standard operating procedure in McLean County. You have to run in the movers and shakers circle before they even begin to listen. You can run a fast food operation and be taken more seriously as an IT expert than someone that actually has a background in it. Club membership is the most important qualification. All the so-called leaders thought SF was going to be here forever and chose to stand pat instead of trying to diversify the economy. Certain names have to be attached to everything to be taken seriously.

      1. You are correct. The establishment business leadership here has a 20th Century Crony Capitalist mindset. Want to play? You got to be in the club and play the club’s game…or you are on the outside looking in. This resistance to anything that doesn’t fit is driving talented people out of this town. Most of the 20th Century oriented businesses in this town are riding a wave that originated many years ago and will not continue much longer. A new 21st Century economy is emerging and this area is not going to be part of it. I know businesses who have left because of the environment here. This town is a dead end for any startup. Let me repeat that: Startup people tell me this town is a dead end for their startups.

  4. We received one at our business. I glanced through it and just thought what a waste of paper!

    1. Nonsense, SMM13013! The paper could help folks wrap glass and other fragile belongs as they pack up and leave Bloomington-Normal.

  5. A waste of perfectly good trees. I find it interesting that they want businesses to promote the town? Really, let me get this straight… as a business person I would want to promote the town and not my own business? Yes, they are out of their minds. All my promotion would go to my business… I could care less about Joe, Sally and Ken’s businesses.

  6. That magazine is worse than a high school yearbook of who’s in the drama department or who is supposed to be popular.

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