First Busey has stark turnaround from 2009

UPDATED 11 p.m. Jan.25, 2011

CHAMPAIGN – First Busey Corp. finished 2010 with its strongest quarter of the year, according to fourth-quarter results released Tuesday.

The holding company for Busey Bank reported net income of $7.3 million for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. Each quarter last year showed successively better results.

It's Your Business: Catering, delivery on Colombian Grill's plate

A new catering company called Colombian Grill now delivers tamales, empanadas and other specialities to your door.

"Everything is fresh and authentic," said Mariana Newman, a Colombian native who cooks up the menu items with her mother, Blanca Narvaez. Newman's husband, Chris Newman, also is involved in the business.

Jimmy John's founder contemplates moving headquarters out of Illinois

UPDATE: Here's a better link to the podcast of today's Penny for Your Thoughts program that includes a call from Jimmy John Liautaud.

'Downtown Throwdown' returns to benefit cancer society

More than 25 businesses in Champaign-Urbana have agreed to donate a portion of their sales Saturday to the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer campaign.

Sale of Champaign company 'good fit' with new global owner

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign company that analyzes and tests nutritional supplements has been sold to a British-based company with operations worldwide.

American Analytical Chemistry Laboratories Corp., which employs 23 people in the Mattis Commercial Park on Champaign's west side, has been acquired by Intertek Group, which operates in more than 100 countries.

It's Your Business: Dollar Java bucks high prices for coffee

For those of you who like to complain about coffee prices these days, Champaign will soon welcome a new cafe where coffee is priced at a cool $1.

Dollar Java plans to open in the beginning of February on the first floor of 51 E. Green St., in space that used to house the Refinery's Campustown location at the southeast corner of Locust and Green streets.

RATIO Architects merging with firm in N.C.

CHAMPAIGN – RATIO Architects is adding a studio in North Carolina as the result of a merger with Raleigh-based Cherry Huffman Architects.

Indianapolis-based RATIO, which has a studio in downtown Champaign, said the merger is part of a strategy to grow RATIO to national design-firm status.

It's Your Business: New firm to deliver training to athletes

A longtime strength trainer from Champaign-Urbana has partnered with the owner of a sports-specific physical therapy clinic in Nebraska to launch a new business that offers training-related services in East Central Illinois, Omaha, Neb., or anywhere around the world.

Closed hotel properties could be empty for a while

First it was a Holiday Inn in the early 1960s, followed by Howard Johnson's, Premier Inn and most recently 1505 N. Neil Street in Champaign was Gateway Studios, a place where low-income residents could rent rooms.

Home sales up a bit in December

SAVOY – December home sales provided a glimmer of hope for recovery at the close of a weak year for the Champaign County housing market.

December is usually a slow time for home sales, but last month 150 sales were closed, up from 120 in November and 144 the previous December, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service.