Did you know that today is National Caramel Day? If you want to celebrate, check out one of these locally owned shops in Illinois.

Flesor’s Candy Kitchen in Tuscola

Flesor’s Candy Kitchen is a classic example of the American Dream. Gus Flesor bought the building and opened his own confectionary in 1901, after emigrating from Greece. Success in the business allowed him to bring two of his brothers to Tuscola. Gus Flesor is known for their delicious caramels that you can buy wrapped or homemade hand-dipped. All their candy is made by hand with no preservatives. 

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AIMMC 3According to a recent study by IBM Watson Health, Illinois has one of the highest numbers of top hospitals in the state. Out of the 100 top hospitals in the nation, only Texas and Ohio exceeded Illinois in the number of top-ranking hospitals.

IBM Watson Health’s study analyzed about 2,750 acute care, short-term, non-federal hospitals for the 2018 list. Its study reported that top-performing hospitals realized better risk-adjusted outcomes and maintained both a lower cost to patients and a higher profit margin.

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SSPeterandPaulaerial CityofNaperville Toggle 1024x683Illinois remains among the best places for businesses looking to relocate, according to Site Selection Magazine.

Named third in the 2017 Governor’s Cup rankings, Illinois ranked behind only Texas and Ohio in new corporate facility projects, according to the magazine.

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro area remained the top metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, with 402 new and expanded facilities projects, according to the ranking.

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Unemployment MGNThe unemployment rate in all 102 counties of Illinois dropped in 2017. Over the past year, the unemployment rate decreased from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), Bloomington-Normal finished the year with the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.8 percent. Bloomington-Normal reportedly added 1,100 non-farm related jobs in 2017.

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solarIKEA’s Midwest distribution center in Joliet now boasts the largest solar rooftop in the state. The two IKEA stores in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg also have solar rooftops, making IKEA the owner of the three largest solar rooftop in Illinois.

The Joliet rooftop will produce approximately 3,377,000 kWh of electricity yearly, which is the equivalent of reducing the emissions of 538 cars or providing electricity for 377 homes.

Solar rooftops absorb the sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity and/or heat.

The Joliet distribution center is favorable for IKEA’s network due to its central location and nearby railroads. IKEA is already planning to build another facility nearby, which could be a big job creator for Illinois.

IKEA is working toward moving to clean energy in all aspects. The company has earmarked $2.5 billion to invest in renewable energy until 2020, when the company also hopes to be energy independent – IKEA wants to produce as much clean energy as it uses in its buildings.

IKEA has constructed 700,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and has over 300 wind turbines. One-third of the approximately 300 wind turbines are located here in the United States, and 49 are in Hoopeston, Illinois.

For more information about IKEA, click here.