Slow sales forcing The Estate Sale to close doors

CHAMPAIGN – A little more than two years after The Estate Sale store opened on North Neil Street, the antiques and decor shop is closing.

Owner Robert Grossman said the store is an apparent victim of the economy, with sales slowing as the recession dragged on.

Plus, with fewer people buying new homes, there's less demand for furnishings, he said.

Local dealers ready for Ford's revamped Lincoln brand

CHAMPAIGN – Charlie Shapland says Ford Motor Co. is "headed the right direction" in seeking to reinvigorate its Lincoln brand, but accomplishing it won't be "an overnight fix."

Shapland is president of Worden-Martin Inc., which has the Ford-Lincoln-Mercury franchise in Champaign.

Home sales in Champaign County down; refinancing on rise

CHAMPAIGN – Low interest rates have prompted many people to refinance – but not as many to go out and buy a home.

"I'd say one in 10 is a purchase," said Jan Buerkett, a loan officer at Busey Bank. "In June, rates took a turn down, and we've been busy ever since with refinancing."

Rantoul firm plans a number of layoffs

RANTOUL – A local warehousing company will lay off employees.

The number of workers to be laid off by the firm – Alliance Resources Warehousing Inc. – is undetermined. The company's main warehouse is at 200 Turner Drive in the industrial park in west Rantoul.

Retirement fund buys controlling interest in Westchester Group

CHAMPAIGN – One of the nation's biggest retirement systems has bought a controlling interest in the Champaign-based Westchester Group, which has agricultural interests around the world.

Clothing drive set for those seeking employment help

Cleaning out your closets? Suits don't fit anymore?

The United Way's Emerging Community Leaders group is organizing a professional-clothing drive and a job-tips booth to help people who need jobs or clothing to wear to work.

The clothing drive is scheduled from Oct. 11 to Oct. 16 and will benefit the Center for Women in Transition and the Salvation Army.

Danville firm celebrates anniversary of partnership that kept it alive

DANVILLE – One year ago Thursday, Brad Irle and a group of private investors took over ownership of Th Snyder, a custom woodworking business that creates cabinetry, moldings, doors and more for high-end residential projects.

It's Your Business: El Toro 2 moving to old JBJ building

El Toro 2, at 1805 S. Neil St., C, plans to move up the street and into a brand-new space early next year.

Production to start by early spring at shuttered Rantoul pork plant

RANTOUL – Production at the Rantoul pork plant – which has been shuttered for a year and half – is projected to start in late winter or early spring.

Kurt Irelan, construction manager for new owner Trim-Rite Inc., said the company plans to expand the west Rantoul plant, which encompasses 12,000 square feet.

Former Station 211 reopens as Red Lion

CHAMPAIGN – The Red Lion has roared again.

On Friday evening, the Campustown bar formerly known as Station 211 reopened with a new look and a name that evokes the building's past as a live music hub for Champaign-Urbana.