Winning recipe?

A Chicago-based analyst who follows Kraft Foods Group said the proposed acquisition by H.J. Heinz Co. could help open up new markets for Kraft products.

"Our initial take is that the deal stands to enhance Kraft's narrow economic moat," said Erin Lash, an analyst for Morningstar Inc.

Change nothing new for Kraft

The proposed acquisition of Kraft Foods by H.J. Heinz Co. to form the Kraft Heinz Co. is only the latest in a series of moves, sales, purchases and spin-offs that dot Kraft's history. Here are a few highlights:

1903 — J.L. Kraft buys wholesale cheese, sells it to stores

1914 — Kraft and his brothers buy a cheese plant in Stockton, Ill.

Updated: Food co-op to bring jobs, local foods to downtown Champaign

Have a biz tip? Email Don Dodson at

CHAMPAIGN — Common Ground Food Co-Op hopes to open a new store in downtown Champaign in early 2016, the cooperative announced Thursday.

Banker decries cost of Dodd-Frank

CHAMPAIGN — Small community banks are reeling from the cost of complying with the Dodd-Frank Act, the chairman of the Illinois Bankers Association said.

And in some cases, their customers are feeling the restrictions of Dodd-Frank, too.

State's financial picture still bleak

SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers have to work with state revenue that is down $1.25 billion this year and will be another $1.96 billion lighter for the fiscal year beginning July 1, economists told a legislative panel Tuesday.

The gloomy revenue projections came as top state officials parry over large holes in the current year's budget, even before they start to debate next year's.

Mahomet officials decry Rauner proposal to cut sales tax to municipalities

MAHOMET — Gov. Bruce Rauner would like to save the state some cash by reducing funding to local governments. But that could spell trouble for communities like Mahomet, where that funding is crucial.

"The impact for us would be huge," Village Administrator Patrick Brown said this week, as the village's budgeting process gets under way.

Flash index takes slight dip, but state's economy still growing

URBANA — The University of Illinois flash index dropped slightly in February, but the statistician who compiles it said the Illinois economy continues to grow steadily.

Economist J. Fred Giertz said the drop from 106.8 in January to 106.6 in February "does not reflect a stalled economy."

Assisted-living facility moving forward, hotel still stalled in Rantoul

RANTOUL — Plans are progressing for an assisted-living facility on Rantoul's west side, Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh told members of the Rantoul Economic Development Advisory committee.

Building permits, Feb. 22, 2015

Listed are recent permits for all commercial and industrial work, all new single-family and multifamily residences and all residential remodeling over $50,000. Permits are listed by applicant, description, site and cost.