UI class delivers practical solutions for small businesses

CHAMPAIGN – When ZelTech needed to develop a strategic plan, the 5-year-old information technology company turned not to a prestigious national business consulting firm for help, but a group of University of Illinois students.

Home sales up in March after weak start to 2010

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign County home sales perked up in March, running about 13 percent ahead of March 2009.

The jump in sales partially made up for a weak January and February and raised hopes for stronger sales in the year ahead.

Champaign's Cold Stone Creamery gets new owner

CHAMPAIGN – The local Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop has a new owner.

Brain Freeze LLC, which includes Manoj and Rana Shenoy and their partners Parag and Nina Shah, has purchased the franchise from Eric Bussell, who decided to sell to focus on commercial real estate.

OK of Big Broadband grant means real work can begin

Now the work begins.

Officials from Urbana, Champaign and the University of Illinois are expected to meet this week to work on plans for the Big Broadband fiber-optic network that will bring high-speed Internet to the twin cities and campus.

Money Smart Week events put focus on personal finance

Activities include sessions with tips, chance to shred financial papers, help for seniors

Folks will get plenty of chances next week to learn more about personal finance, thanks to Money Smart Week observances in Champaign and Vermilion counties.

Members of new Champaign gym develop bodies, friendships

Luke Moore had no motivation.

"I was lazy," he said. He'd been to gyms and exercise facilities before but "they just weren't appealing to me."

$1 three-month subscription offer for laid-off extended to veterans

CHAMPAIGN – The News-Gazette is continuing to offer three-month subscriptions for only $1 to people laid off from work – and is making that same offer to recently returning veterans who were honorably discharged.

UI engineering students build man's prototype 'personal vehicle'

CHAMPAIGN – Randy Reisinger thinks America's reliance on heavy, gas-guzzling automobiles for day-to-day transportation is grossly inefficient.

So he's pitching a plan for small, three-wheeled "personal vehicles" that he hopes will attract drivers and investors alike.

It's Your Business: Einstein Bros. Bagels spreading to Urbana

National bagel-chain restaurant Einstein Bros. Bagels will open a location at University and Lincoln avenues in Urbana this summer.

Boast Restaurants, made up of Marc Bralts and Ryan Oas, is the franchisee developing the quick casual restaurant here.

Plaza getting renovations, adding tenants

CHAMPAIGN – The shopping center that houses the County Market on Glenn Park Drive is slated to get a million-dollar face-lift this year.

A limited liability company associated with Ramshaw Real Estate acquired the Champaign Village shopping center on Feb. 26. Ramshaw plans to make improvements to the roof, facade and parking lot, company President Jerry Ramshaw Jr. said.