Farm income helps put Piatt, Ford counties among highest earners in '08 in Illinois

Some rural counties in East Central Illinois had among the highest per-capita income in the state in 2008, according to new figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Piatt and Ford counties had the fourth- and sixth-highest per-capita income that year, with figures of $43,313 and $40,516, respectively.

First Busey records first profit since first quarter of 2009

CHAMPAIGN — First Busey Corp. has “turned a corner,” the company’s chief executive officer said as the bank holding company reported its first profit in four quarters.

The parent company of Busey Bank on Tuesday reported net income of $4.2 million for the first quarter of 2010, which for stockholders translated to 4 cents of earnings per share.

Scharlau's poll shows audience bullish on market

CHAMPAIGN – Attendees of Busey Bank's 58th economic seminar in Champaign-Urbana are bullish when it comes to expectations for the stock market.

Survey results from the 800 or so in attendance Wednesday morning indicate they expect the Dow Jones industrial average to close the year at 11,492, up about 10 percent from the 2009 close.

Scharlau finds silver linings here and there in local economy

CHAMPAIGN – The average selling price for a home in Champaign County last year was down and unemployment may be in double digits, but people are still dining out in Champaign County.

First Busey annual meeting has votes on employee stock plan, number of shares, officer compensation

CHAMPAIGN – First Busey Corp. shareholders will vote on five issues at the bank holding company's annual meeting May 19.

At the meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the company's Champaign headquarters, they'll decide:

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.

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.

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.