Business roundup: Food co-op continues grand opening week

URBANA — Common Ground Food Co-Op will continue the weeklong grand opening of its expanded store, with daily tours at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Sunday.

The food cooperative, on the southeast side of Lincoln Square Village in Urbana, has tripled in size as a result of the expansion.

Common Ground has added a salad bar, an espresso bar, a bakery, a local fresh-meat case, beer and wine and a classroom where cooking classes can be held. The store also doubled its frozen-food department and tripled its produce section.

Among special events at the co-op in coming days:

— 4 p.m. Thursday, kids print valentines with Living Letter Press.

— 5 p.m. Friday, happy hour featuring cheese, vegan-friendly snacks and wine tasting.

— 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, live music from Grandkids.

— Noon Sunday, drawing for prizes from Bacaro and Champaign Cycle and for gift baskets.

— 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, dedication of Flatlander classroom and music from The Turinos.

Hertz acquires Swires in Danville

DANVILLE — Bob Swires has merged his Danville-based business, Swires Land & Management Co., into Iowa-based Hertz Farm Management.

The Danville office is Hertz's 17th office and further expands the company's presence in Illinois, adding more than 23,000 acres under management.

"The Danville office is strategically located relative to our other Illinois offices at Monticello, Kankakee, Dekalb and Geneseo," said Hertz President Loyd Brown in a release.

Swires, who founded Swires Land & Management in 2002, will continue to work as a professional farm manager, appraiser and farm real estate broker with Hertz.

His office administrator, Diane Andrews, will also join the Hertz team in Danville, with the office remaining at 112 N. Vermilion St.

Hertz Farm Management, based in Nevada, Iowa, was established in 1946. It manages more than 525,000 acres in nine states in the nation's mid-section.

Tax-Aide offers tax assistance

CHAMPAIGN — Residents of the Champaign-Urbana area who need help filing taxes can get it from AARP Tax-Aide volunteers at the Stevick Senior Center in downtown Champaign.

Through April 15, volunteers will be at the senior center, 48 Main St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays; and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

The service is free for taxpayers with low and moderate incomes, with special attention given to those 60 and older. Assistance is given on a first-come, first-served basis, with no appointments needed.

People seeking help should bring a copy of last year's tax returns, regardless of who prepared them. They should also bring a Social Security card for everyone listed on the return, including dependents.

Also needed are all statements of income, including W-2 forms, interest and dividend statements as well as statements of income from Social Security and unemployment compensation.

Those who itemize deductions should bring documentation.

Delcross in deal with German firm

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-based Delcross Technologies recently announced that it has signed a worldwide distribution agreement with Computer Simulation Technology AG, an international engineering software company in Darmstadt, Germany,

Under the agreement, CST will become the authorized value-added reseller of two Delcross Technologies products — EMIT and Savant.

EMIT — short for Electromagnetic Interference Toolkit — analyzes multi-antenna platforms and predicts co-site interference between radio frequency systems attached to the antennas.

Savant predicts the performance of antennas as installed on electrically large platforms.

Matthew Miller is president of Delcross Technologies, based at 3015 Village Office Place, C.

Firm to produce events for band

URBANA — An Urbana-based company has been selected to produce two "stopover" events featuring Mumford & Sons, the English folk rock band whose album "Babel" on Sunday won the Grammy for Album of the Year.

Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment will produce "Gentlemen of the Road 2013" stopovers in Troy, Ohio, and Guthrie, Okla., along with national event producer Jam Productions Ltd.

Each stopover includes a Friday night concert followed by an all-day Saturday event. Mumford & Sons is the Saturday headliner, with several other bands also scheduled to perform.

The stopover in Troy will be Aug. 30-31, and the stopover in Guthrie will be Sept. 6-7. Tickets for both events went on sale Friday and sold out within hours.

"The basic concept behind the stopovers is to go into small towns and essentially take them over, more than doubling their population for the event, and turning the whole town into the festival ground," said Ian Goldberg, vice president of the Urbana-based company.

"These events have been the biggest challenge our company has had in producing large-scale events," Goldberg said.

Last year, Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment took part in a stopover in Dixon, Ill., and was invited back to present the two stopovers this year.

State Farm to sponsor marathon event

CHAMPAIGN — State Farm will be the title sponsor for the 27th Mile Celebrate Victory Bash at the 2013 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

The event gives runners and volunteers a chance to meet up with family and friends for post-race fun.

From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27, the music stage will feature local bands, and runners can have a celebratory drink in the beer tent provided by Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works. Family-friendly activities will include a bounce house, giant slide and "inflatable jousting."

Eight local State Farm agents — Kurt Lenschow, Rebecca Bobell, John Caywood, Tom Cox, Todd Jacob, Marcy McAnally, Nick Smith and Joe Stovall — are providing funds for the sponsorship, to be matched by the State Farm corporate office in Bloomington.

Entrepreneurial certificate classes offered

RANTOUL — An eight-week business planning program in Rantoul will offer instruction and mentoring for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs.

The FastTracNewVenture entrepreneurial certificate program will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. on eight Thursdays — March 7 to May 2 — at the Rantoul Business Incubator, 601 S. Century Blvd. in Rantoul. There will be no class March 21.

Instruction and student manuals are $100. The course will be taught by Parkland College instructor Mark Kesler.

The program is a joint effort of Parkland College and EnterpriseWorks, the University of Illinois business incubator. To enroll, go to http://www.parkland.edu/communityed or call 353-2055.

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