2017 November Issue

Like the little engine, rail park has lofty goals

“The biggest obstacle is just getting our name out there and proving to the big people that we are serious” — Tim Kuebrich By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    A new logistics park in Godfrey is slowly picking up steam in its quest to be a bigger player in transportation and freight movement in Southwestern Illinois.    Owner Tim…

Read More

Students create Active Learning Center at McKendree campus

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    LEBANON — When George Kriss suggested to the students of his management information systems class that they plan out the idea of an Active Learning Center on the McKendree University campus, he was hoping to make the best of a progressive, yet fun assignment.     He underestimated the results, to say the…

Read More

Local tour bureau arrives at crossroads — Route 66 and River Road

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    All roads would lead to Southwestern Illinois under a contemplated marketing campaign that would highlight two of the best-known highways in these parts — Route 66 and the Great River Road.    State and local tourism officials are exploring ways to promote two of the region’s greatest assets now that the Alton Regional…

Read More

Businessmen should not give up on cleaning out that email clutter

By JAMES DANIELS JR.    As business owners, we are often inundated with emails, some important, some informational, some we look forward to receiving. And then, there are those we do not want at all.      Because of the unwanted messages, we find it impossible to reach “inbox zero.” This concept created by productivity expert Merlin…

Read More

State extends expiration dates on two tax credit programs

IBJ Staff Report    The extension of two different tax credit programs in Illinois is looked upon by supporters as critical for continuing development of depressed communities in the state, including East St. Louis.    One of the measures was Senate Bill 1783, legislation to extend the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program from its current sunset of…

Read More

POINT: Is retail brick and mortar still a good investment for cities?

No. Tax incentives caused the retail apocalypse; Illinois will feel it soon By MICHAEL J. HICKS    Following the end of the Great Recession, retail sales in the United States have been growing at their slowest rate on record. Over the past two years, sales of retail products have grown at about half their post-World War…

Read More

COUNTERPOINT: Is retail brick and mortar still a good investment for cities?

Yes. Physical stores are still tops with majority of consumers By PATRICK MCKEEHAN    Given the trend to online shopping, is retail brick and mortar development still a good investment for communities?    The answer is an unequivocal “YES” just based upon the staggering numbers for retail brick and mortar sales and shoppers.     According to the…

Read More

Q&A with Jim Vernier, mayor of Shiloh

    IBJ: You’ve just got re-elected and you’re on your fourth term. That would put you up among the top tenured mayors in Metro East.         Vernier: Yes. And I was trustee before that for 16 years. I’ve lived my entire life here.        IBJ: How has it changed during your time in government?  …

Read More

Ken Ziebart, Senior VP, Group Manager, Commercial Banking, First Bank, O’Fallon

By RITA DUCKWORTH    Ken Ziebart joined First Bank this past August. He is settling into his role as senior vice president and group manager for Commercial Banking at the O’Fallon location. As group manager for the Metro East and Southern Illinois region, he directs another commercial banker and a commercial banking representative.    Although new to…

Read More