January 20, 2014

Ellen 2


We're just a few weeks into 2014, and it's clear that the year is off to a strong start. Stories about new support for entrepreneurs, a building boom in Maryville, improvements in the industrial market and more have been in the news. The general outlook from area leaders remains very positive for the Metro East and we share that enthusiasm. Read on for all the details and have a great week. 




Ellen Krohne

Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern (Q&A)

(St. Louis Business Journal, 1/3/14)

We were able to cut the 2014 budget by almost $9 million from the 2013 level. And, we still anticipate abating the county's share of property taxes in 2014 as we have done in the past. We are expecting an uptick in commercial, as well as residential, construction. The opening of the new Veterans Bridge, with connections to the new Illinois Route 3, will open up hundreds of acres for new commercial development. 


SIUE to host Metro East Start-Up Challenge (The Metro Independent, 1/15/14)

Entrepreneurs and new business start-ups are invited to compete in the Metro East Start-Up Challenge, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's first regional business plan competition.

The Start-Up Challenge is sponsored by University Park at SIUE and the Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Challenge seeks to identify, reward and support entrepreneurs across the SBDC's nine-county service area. (Read More)  


Growth returns to Maryville (The Intelligencer, 1/7/14)

Maryville has seen a return of its building boom as permits for single-family dwellings more than tripled during 2013. Maryville Mayor Larry Gulledge addressed the figures at Wednesday's Village Board meeting, the first of the year and one that lasted just 11 minutes because there was no caucus meeting the previous week. For 2013, a total of 101 building permits were issued in the village, 26 more than in 2012.

(Read More)



Areas industrial real estate market on the mend 

(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1/10/14)

Demand for warehouse and industrial space flagged during the recession. Almost no such space has been built in the St. Louis area since 2008. But vacancy rates began falling early last year and will decline more this year, real estate experts say. Lease rates are edging up even as additional space is brought to market.  (Read More)



Replacement Services will be anchor tenant of refurbished former Belleville Y

(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 1/10/14)

Kurt Artinger might well be elated if his biggest claim to fame is that he's the guy who kept the historic former YMCA building in downtown Belleville from becoming a parking lot - or meeting some other ignominious fate. (Read More)  



Port District Hopes to Expand (Alton Daily News, 1/8/14)

What would be the advantages to joining an expanded Tri City Regional Port District?  That is a question the Godfrey Township Board hope to have answered at its February meeting.  The district is looking at expansion, so it is trying to gather as much support from local township governments before lawmakers return to Springfield for the spring session. (Read More) 


Illinois coal stages a comeback (St. Louis Business Journal, 1/9/14)

The use of scrubbing technology by companies such as Peabody Energy Corp. has put coal from the Illinois basin back in play. Overall, the amount of coal produced in the state of Illinois was expected to reach 56 million tons last year, up 70 percent from 2010. (Read More) 



Year in Review 2013: Southwestern Illinois (Illinois Business Journal, 1/9/14) For some businesses, the past 12 months has been a swing period, as the nation continues to climb out of the hole left by the meteoric miasma that struck the national economy in 2008. To just recap, the Illinois Business Journal had some ownership changes; Illinois 255 was completed to Godfrey; and a potential gap closure in the state pension debt. Much more happened in 2013 and it keeps us optimistic for 2014. This special section spotlights several projects and initiatives by Leadership Council members. (Read More)



Art on the Square retains No. 2 ranking in arts fairs nationwide 

(Illinois Business Journal, 1/9/14)

Art on the Square, an annual art fair in Belleville, has again been ranked No. 2 in the nation for Fine Art Shows for 2014 and improved its ranking in the fine craft category.(Read More)  



SIU OKs contracts for Union Station renovation 

(Illinois Business Journal, 1/9/14)

The Southern Illinois University board has approved contracts worth more than $5.6 million to renovate SIUE's Union Station in the Morris University Center and to upgrade the campus electric distribution system.(Read More)



SIU OKs ITS renovations (Illinois Business Journal, 1/9/14)

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees has signed off on renovations of the Information Technology Services computer room in Dunham Hall on the SIUE campus. The $1.6 million computer room renovation will be funded by ITS fees ($600,000) and university plant fees ($1 million).(Read More) 



Fast-Rite opening in Greenville, brings jobs to Greenville 

(WGEL Daily News, 1/10/14)

Fast-Rite International, Inc., a supplier of fasteners, stampings, fittings and assemblies, and inventory management programs to manufacturers all over the USA and Mexico, has announced they have acquired the building currently occupied by Maredy Candy in the Wolf Business Park at 1791 Samuel Andrews Drive in Greenville, IL. (Read More)



Leadership Council members associated with projects in this issue 
St. Clair County Seal

America's Central Port Logo

Madison County IL

Memorial Hospital



Lindenwood U

McKendree Logo



Holland Logo

SunCoke Energy  



Contact Information

Ellen Krohne, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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