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2016 September Issue

RASI: Southwestern Illinois residential market showing strong growth over last year

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    The residential real estate market is strong in Southwestern Illinois, according to Deb Treat Frazier, association executive of the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois.    “The economy is doing so well and continuing to improve; consumer confidence is improving; and the already low interest rates dropped even further after the Brexit vote…

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NAI DESCO: Retail real estate is strong with Edwardsville and O’Fallon leading the way

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    The retail/commercial real estate market in Southwestern Illinois is strong, according to David Wittenauer, principal of NAI DESCO.     “Retail vacancies are minimal; occupancy rates are very high; and rents are trending upwards,” Wittenauer said.    Wittenauer said two of the hottest areas are O’Fallon and Edwardsville.    “We’re working on several projects…

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Q&A with Jim Schultz, CEO, Intersect Illinois (formerly the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation)

    IBJ: Describe the economic development corporation and its goals.        Schultz: “Intersect Illinois” is the entity the governor and I created in January of this year. I transitioned out of his cabinet (as head of DCEO) and into this role fulltime leading this effort. What we are focused on is rebranding this state, new…

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COUNTERPOINT: Should Illinois ban ‘fair share fees’ to unions?

No, such fees allow unions to effectively represent all workers By SEAN STOTT    The term ‘Right to Work’ is a clever bit of marketing whose name does not live up to its billing.  Proponents of this misnamed concept sell it like the hucksters who rolled into town pitching the proverbial snake oil; ‘the cure for…

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POINT: Should Illinois ban ‘fair share fees’ to unions?

Yes, only unions benefit by resisting the changes that will help state out of its free-fall     EDITOR’S NOTE: Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda contains a provision that would empower voters to choose if workers should be forced to join a union or pay fair share fees as a condition of employment. Supportive  legislation would…

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2016 Metro East Start-Up Challenge offers $20,000 in prizes

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    Fledgling entrepreneurs have a window of opportunity to get their business’ name in front of a large audience, but the window is closing fast.    New business startups are invited to compete in the 2016 Metro East Start-Up Challenge, the third annual regional business plan competition organized by the Illinois Metro East Small Business…

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UK Brexit vote triggers drop in American mortgage rates

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    On June 23, voters went to the polls in the United Kingdom and voted to exit the European Union. The vote to drop out of the 23-year-old organization of 28 countries stunned many pundits, plummeted the British pound to its lowest level in decades and caused Prime Minister David Cameron to…

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Major road, bridge projects advance in East St. Louis area

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    An interweaving pair of road and bridge projects is coming into the homestretch near the East St. Louis riverfront, which will delight drivers who have been challenged in recent months navigating their way into Illinois.    The Illinois Department of Transportation says it’s pleased with the progress on a connector ramp being built…

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New memory care facilities part of growing area trend

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    HIGHLAND — It’s 10 a.m. on a weekday, and the halls of San Gabriel Memory Care are amazingly quiet. Many of the residents are resting comfortably in their rooms.    Within the hour, though, things begin to stir as staff prepares for lunch. One by one, the residents begin to appear, many walking…

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