Champaign-Urbana home builders say new starts have slowed

CHAMPAIGN – Local home builders say they've seen a slowdown in new home starts now that the tax credit for first-time homebuyers has largely disappeared.

"People are still being cautious," said Mike Martin, president of the Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois. "There's activity, but it's not as it was a few years ago."

Commerce Bank's parent company reports jump in net income

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Commerce Bank's parent company on Thursday reported a 61 percent increase in second-quarter net income, compared with the same period a year ago.

Commerce Bancshares had net income of $59.7 million, up from $37 million for the second quarter of 2009.

Danville Housing Authority schedules health-safety fair

DANVILLE – The Danville Housing Authority will hold its annual Summer Health and Safety Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Fair Oaks Pavilion, near the basketball courts in the Fair Oaks Housing Complex, 1607 Clyman Lane.

Downtown, Campustown business groups discussing merger in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Two local business groups are considering a merger.

Applications for help with cooling bills to be taken starting July 19

If summer heat is sending your electricity bill soaring, government help may be available.

Low-income residents who are elderly, disabled, have small children or meet certain medical criteria are eligible for $150 summer cooling grants through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Champaign council to discuss retuned agreements with economic development, tourism agencies

CHAMPAIGN – Council members this week will consider retuned agreements between the city and Champaign County economic support agencies.

Construction trade programs aim to assist minorities

Every Saturday, for 20 weeks, 46 men and women reported to the Physical Plant Service Building on the University of Illinois campus at 7:30 a.m. and worked until 3:30 p.m. Some stayed afterward to continue working; a few even showed up early for the same reason.

It's Your Business: Indian restaurant plans July opening

A new Indian restaurant will open soon in southwest Champaign.

Sairamom will be in the former Mezzaluna space at Village at the Crossing at the southwest corner of Windsor and Duncan roads.

Owner Thambidurai Guru has not set an opening date, but said he's aiming for next weekend or the weekend after that.

Urbana Business Association leader to take post with credit union

URBANA – Susan Toalson, the executive director of the Urbana Business Association, plans to leave her position later this month.

Toalson, who has been with the organization for more than three years, will join the University of Illinois Employees Credit Union as its director of business development.