Illinois startups seek to boost online shopping

An Illinois-based startup company is hoping to be the next big thing on the web for people looking to shop online. The website, Maven, pays people a commission to recommend certain products that they have to other people.

Being described as “Pinterest with Pay”, the website has partnered with 3,000 merchants and 1,000 “mavens” to recommend goods from fashion to home décor. Mavens can earn a commission of up to 20 percent for recommending goods to people on the web.

Maven CEO Jess Waldeck’s own favorite Mavens are Cheryl Leahy for her suggestions for tassel earrings, and Alison Pittas for her suggestions on food and books.

For more information about Maven visit their website.

Heritage General StoreChicago’s very own Heritage General Store brings a gentle touch to the city with its unique seven-day full service. No other shop in town supplies visitors with freshly brewed coffee and building and repairing bikes. The store’s mission is to build eco-friendly transportation with local manufacturing. Heritage is a blend of good coffee and conversation with the lasting experience of handcrafting one’s own personal bike.

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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.