By: Diane Benjamin
The Commerce Bank location at 104 Broadway in Uptown Normal is closing in just a few days.
If you have never heard of ESG scores, it is here and detrimental to everything American. Start getting informed here: https://marketbusinessnews.com/financial-glossary/esg-definition-meaning/
Large corporations are being forced to adopt ESG. Commerce Bank is all in: https://www.commercebank.com/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility/esg
ESG seeks to destroy capitalism by removing profits from the purpose the corporation exists. Low ESG scores mean loans can’t be obtained. An easy to understand example is a gun manufacturer. ESG ratings can put them out of business by removing their ability to borrow money, process credit card purchases, or even have a bank account.
I received a newsletter last week from an investment advisor. It had a long story on ESG investing ending with this:
You may want to consider ESG portfolios if you are concerned about environmental, social and governance issues, and accept that your returns may be different from the standard portfolio models.
In other words, your investments will yield less than traditional investments. Check your portfolio if you have one!
Maybe Uptown just wasn’t a good investment for Commerce Bank and ESG had nothing to do with closing that location. It was a bad investment for the taxpayers of Normal though.
Clear back in 2012 I investigated what Normal was doing in Uptown. This story says Normal gave 104 and 106 Broadway to Commerce Bank. Normal had paid $400,000 for those properties: https://blnnews.com/2012/07/03/who-gave-normal-permission-to-buy-give-away-properties/
This story says Commerce paid $10 for the properties, but Normal also paid 1/2 the rent for a temporary building – up to $2875 a month for a year – plus half the cost of removal when their building was completed. https://blnnews.com/2013/02/20/uptown-and-crony-capitalism/
Usurping capitalism obviously doesn’t work. The taxpayers of Normal are out over $400,000 and have yet another empty building in Uptown. Would Commerce Bank have located in Uptown without all the freebies?
Of course the new Trail West and Trail East buildings have nothing to do with capitalism either. Neither did 1 Uptown Circle. Without government subsidies, which risks your money instead of the developer’s, nothing would be built in Uptown except government buildings. The market must drive success with private dollars or it will fail. Normal thinks they can create prosperity. Meanwhile Merry Ann’s diner formerly located in another new subsidized building, is also closed and has been for quite awhile. Nobody wants to fill that prime location?
Normal paid $800,000 for just 104 North St where Dan Brady and Rodney Davis rent space for $1 a year. Normal will be giving away that building for part of Trail West. Of course other properties are involved too. Normal paid property taxes on this building because it is rented. That money was paid to themselves because a lot of it was redirected to the Uptown TIF. That made the TIF income look better than it actually is. https://blnnews.com/2019/01/18/citizens-of-normal-need-to-see-this-one/
Normal is moving ahead with Uptown 2.0 regardless of their failures. I bet taxpayers can’t wait to see what Normal gives away next on the other side of the tracks. Since Koos and company were reelected taxpayers must approve.
Eventually you will have your very own ESG score. Welcome to China.