September 14, 2015

Despite the lack of a State of Illinois budget, Southwestern Illinois continues to have strong economic news. In this edition we have new hotel, fitness center, retail, and senior living complex announcements. Our educational institutions continue to win top awards and home sales are up. MidAmerica Airport's new flights to Vegas are a hit and flight instruction returns to the St. Louis Regional Airport.

Things are taking off in Southwestern Illinois! Enjoy this edition of Good NewsLink.

Ellen Krohne
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
Estimated value tops $100M for Illinois 15 projects in Belleville
(Belleville News-Democrat, 9/3/2015)
The future of the Illinois 15 corridor in Belleville would take a dramatic change if developers succeed i n their plans to build more than $100 million in hotels, restaurants and a multi-sport park with 11 soccer fields.

Planned resumption of trips to Vegas proving a hot item
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/10/15)
Allegiant air service is again offering non-stop, one way flights to Las Vegas, and almost from the day they were announced, they've been one of the hottest tickets in town.
Illinois Economy Stays Strong
(WBGZ Radio, 9/2/15)
A monthly measure of Illinois' economy dips down only slightly, despite the state budget impasse and an ugly month in the stock market.

Study: Region is a multimodal freight hub primed for growth
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/10/15)
The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois released a report last month on the state of freight in the region.

St. Clair County looks to reconstruct Front Street in East St. Louis in $8.1M project
(Belleville News-Democrat, 8/27/2015)
St. Clair County is looking to reconstruct a stretch of Front Street in East St. Louis, project officials say will help with economic development along the road.
Senior living community opens doors on $30 million care complex
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/2015)
Nearly 90 years after it began, a local senior community is embarking on a new chapter with a $30 million investment in the area's growing, elderly population

Business briefing: So far, local home sales improved over last year
(Belleville News-Democrat, 9/10/15)
This year is looking better than last year for the metro-east housing market. Home sales in St. Clair and Madison counties are higher than they were at this point last year.

St. Clair County's chances of luring NGA continue to improve

(Belleville News-Democrat, 09/12/15)
The battle for the new home of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency could be down to two sites: St. Clair County and North St. Louis.  
(Read More)
U.S. News rates SIUE a Top 10 Midwest Regional Public University
(Riverbender, 9/9/15)
U.S. News & World Report ranks Southern Illinois University Edwardsville among the best Regional Universities Midwest for the 12 th consecutive year and among the top 10 public universities in that category. (Read More)
Quality Testing and Engineering, Inc., new St. Elizabeth's Hospital, O'Fallon
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/10/15)
With projected completion by the end of 2017, St. Elizabeth's Hospital will move seven miles down the road from its current site in downtown Belleville to a new O'Fallon location at Interstate 64 and North Green Mount Road.
Grant allows Riverview Park work to begin; district still lacks state funding
(Alton Telegraph, 9/11/15)
Riverview Park will see updates this fall paid through a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation's Scenic Byway program.
(Read More)

Enrollment strong at metro-east's four-year universities; SWIC shrinks  
(Belleville News-Democrat, 9/10/15)
The metro-east's four-year universities report strong enrollment, while Southwestern Illinois College saw a decline in the number of new students signing up for classes.

Bringing business back to Alton
(The Telegraph, 9/1/15)
There are 10 "Light up Alton" signs posted around town, one for every initiative a group of Alton business leaders hopes to achieve through their new economic venture.
Construction, dirt work at new Dollar General in Alton going at strong pace
(Riverbender, 9/3/15)
Construction workers were busy at the new Dollar General site next to the Donald E. Sandidge Law Enforcement Center and in the Alton Plaza Shopping Center.

Poettker Construction continues to make progress with new Planet Fitness location
(Riverbender, 9/1/15)
The new Planet Fitness is going up in a hurry at the location off Center Grove Road in Edwardsville adjacent to the Eclipse Car Wash.

Advance Auto Parts coming to Wood River
(Advantage News, 9/5/15)
A new business, with a familiar name, recently began construction on a location in Wood River.

Aviation School Returning to Airport
(WBGZ Radio, 9/3/15)
With the opening of a new aviation business at St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto comes word of a new flight school as well. 

Fairfield Inn & Suites opens in Pontoon Beach
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/15)
An 81-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott has opened at 5224 Commerce Parkway.

(Riveberbender, 09/11/15)
Ruler Foods in Godfrey opened its doors to a line of people anxious to see and experience the new store at 5771 Godfrey Road Thursday morning.
(Read More)

In Other News

Three area businesses win Metro East Startup Challenge
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/10/15)
Three wide-ranging, new businesses are winners of the 2015 Metro East Startup Challenge.
(Read More)

Memorial's Sleep Disorders Center receives academy accreditation
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/4/15)
The Sleep Disorders Center at Memorial Hospital, with two locations, one located on the campus of Memorial Hospital and another at Seven Hills in O'Fallon, has received reaccreditation from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Edwardsville to launch mobile app highlighting city amenities
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/4/15)
A planned mobile app called, "Experience Edwardsville," aims to make it easier for people to eat, explore and entertain themselves in the community.
(Read More)

SIUE boasts all-time record high student enrollment
(Riverbender ,9/9/15)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has exceeded its previous record student enrollment by a two percent increase over last year.

Illinois continues to see strong minority and low-income participation on AP exams
(Illinois State Board of Education, 9/3/15)

Illinois minority and low-income student participation in Advanced Placement exams continues to exceed the national average, with students showing record gains on these rigorous, college-level tests.
(Read More)
LCCC sets seminar on transitioning business to the next generation
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/15)
Business owners are encouraged to attend Lewis and Clark Community College Corporate and Community Learning's "Leaving a Legacy" seminar from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Julia's Banquet Center, 101 Eastgate Plaza, East Alton, Illinois.
(Read More)
LCCC plans information sessions on job training in health-care industry
(Illinois Business Journal, 9/10/15)
Lewis and Clark Community College will play host to two information sessions from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, to shed light on the training the school offers in conjunction with Career Step, an online health-care training provider.

SWIC Kids' Club to offer free childcare for veteran students
(Belleville News-Democrat, 09/2/15) 
The Southwestern Illinois College Kids' Club will receive a $30,000 grant from the Newman's Own Foundation, as well as funding from the Fisher House Foundation, to support child care for currently enrolled active military and veteran students.
(Read More)

Leadership Council members associated
with projects
 in this issue 

Madison County IL



 Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois







St. Elizabeth's Hosp

Lindenwood U





McKendree Logo










Lewis & Clark Logo










St. Louis Regional Chamber






Belleville Chamber of Commerce





Memorial Hospital









Riverbend Growth Association



























Contact Information

Ellen Krohne, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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