Area bank ratings for 3rd quarter 2013

Here's the breakdown of BauerFinancial's ratings of 77 banks with offices in East Central Illinois based on data from the quarter that ended Sept. 30:

5-star ("superior")

41 banks

— Arcola First Bank

— Bank of Gibson City

— Bank of Rantoul

— Buckley State Bank

— Busey Bank

— Cissna Park State Bank

For Gifford merchants, it's business unusual

GIFFORD — Lorin Schluter, in his denim overalls, took a break from frying chicken to step out the back door of his restaurant.

There he checked on the generator he had hooked up to a power take-off connected to a 120-horsepower John Deere tractor.

It's been running since 6 p.m. Sunday.

John Roska: Credit cards have edge over debit cards for buying online

Q: Should I use a credit or debit card for online purchases? Is there any difference?

A: Legally, there are differences, which probably give credit cards the edge for buying online.

Credit cards are basically loans that you repay to a lender. Debit cards make withdrawals from your bank.

Grain, ethanol gains drive quarterly income

A roundup of business news:

MAUMEE, Ohio — Strong performances by The Andersons' grain and ethanol groups helped boost third-quarter net income to $17.2 million, up from $16.9 million a year earlier, the company reported this week.

For shareholders, that amounted to net income of 91 cents per diluted share, up from 90 cents during the comparable quarter a year earlier.

First Busey income up from 2012

CHAMPAIGN — First Busey Corp.'s third-quarter net income rose sharply from a year ago, the company announced Tuesday.

Net income for the third quarter of 2013 totaled $7.9 million, up from $4.9 million for the same quarter in 2012.

For shareholders, that translated to diluted earnings of 8 cents a share, up from 5 cents a share a year earlier.

New hotel opening in Champaign

A roundup of business news:

CHAMPAIGN — The Residence Inn by Marriott plans to open for business Friday (today, Sept. 27) in Champaign.

The extended-stay, all-suites hotel at 502 W. Marketview Drive, C, is owned and managed by Hawkeye Hotels of Burlington, Iowa.

Midland States parent acquires St. Louis bank

EFFINGHAM — The parent company of Midland States Bank has agreed to acquire a St. Louis-based bank.

Midland States Bancorp announced it plans to acquire Heartland Bank, which has 11 offices in the St. Louis metropolitan area as well as single locations in Branson, Joplin and Springfield, Mo., and Denver, Colo.

Updated: Community Elements sells building, plans move

CHAMPAIGN — Community Elements is moving to a new building next week, its CEO Sheila Ferguson said Friday morning.

The local not-for-profit mental and behavioral health agency sold its building at 202 W. Park St., C to Hickory Point Bank & Trust and bought a building at 801 N. Walnut St.,  C for its new facility, Ferguson said.

Financial ratings in area include two deep downgrades

Three area financial institutions were downgraded — two of them deeply — in the latest ratings from the BauerFinancial rating service, based on data for the quarter that ended June 30.

First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Central Illinois, based in Shelbyville, and First National Bank of Sullivan previously had BauerFinancial's highest rating — 5-star ("superior").

It's Your Business: Flooring company to open outlet store in Savoy

Flooring Surfaces plans to open a factory outlet store in Savoy early next year, company President Kevin Applebee said.

The company, which sells carpet, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl tile and hardwood floors, will continue to operate from its location at 401 E. Mercury Drive in Champaign's Apollo industrial park.