champaign campustown

Champaign is among the fastest-growing cities in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2015, Champaign saw a 1.5 percent population bump, similar to three of the country's 15 largest cities (Dallas, Columbus and Jacksonville). Champaign grew from 84,805 to 86,906 during that time, according to new estimates.

That makes it the 380th-largest city nationwide and No. 10 in Illinois, just behind Elgin.

Read more at the Champaign News-Gazette.

now hiring

From 2010 to 2016, Illinois has created 391,000 jobs which beats many states throughout the Midwest. Illinois continues to grow with nearly 50,000 jobs being created in 2015 alone.


Women in Illinois rank fifth in the nation for median income, according to a new study released by WalletHub. The study also found Illinois to be among the best states in the Midwest for women overall.

Illinois ranked 13th in the study, which examined factors that included unemployment rates for women, the percentage of women living in poverty, the share of women-owned businesses, and statistics like life expectancy at birth and percentage of women with health insurance.

Read the whole study at WalletHub.

Boyd's New Generation RestaurantSmall businesses across Illinois are the bedrock of their communities. One in particular, Boyd's New Generation in Springfield, exemplifies the lasting impact of minority-owned businesses on the state's economy.

Many residents from all walks of life call the family-owned soul food eatery home. For nearly 30 years, the warm welcome and Southern fare have brought generations of loyal customers returning to Boyd's door.

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Gridley meats

MADE IN ILLINOISThis month Made in Illinois has a tasty feature. There has been a growing trend throughout the United States putting an emphasis on farm-to-table, all-natural foods. Gridley Meats in McLean County is playing its part in establishing the trend right here in Illinois.

It is a family-owned business that literally has its meat making down to a science. Iyad Abbed, who is one of the cofounders, is one of six brothers and one of two who work at the company. A third brother is currently in school studying meat science so he can contribute to helping pair unique flavors.

It’s the simplicity of their product, however, that leads to the complexity. Their brats are a simple mixture of spices and Black Angus beef. Unlike other similar products, they don’t add water to them, which can cause brats to shrink during cooking. In other words, what you get is what you get.  

From the local farm to the local market Gridley Meats has a new approach to keeping it fresh.

Read the story below straight from Iyad Abbed himself.  

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