Survey: Consumer sentiment up to highest level since January

PAUL WISEMAN, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer sentiment rose this month to the highest level since January, suggesting that spending will strengthen this year.

Constitution protects private Confederate flag displays

Confederate flags in C-U? Tom Kacich knows the history. Ask about it here

From Wal-Mart to Amazon, Sears to eBay, one major retailer after another announced Tuesday they'd no longer sell Confederate flags.

Slumberland a potential replacement at former Sears location in Danville

DANVILLE — Most of the 60,000 square feet left empty by the 2014 closing of the Danville Sears store could be filled by a furniture retailer — and the city is offering an incentive to make it happen.

Art Mart move a 'leap of faith'

Questions about this move? Urbana? Local business? Send 'em to Tom Kacich here and he'll chase down an answer

Thirty-seven years after moving into Lincoln Square in Urbana, Art Mart will soon have a new home — at 1705 S. Prospect Ave. in Champaign.

Dollar General considers store in Philo

PHILO — Dollar General is considering building a store on North Lincoln Street in the southern Champaign County town of Philo.

"We are actually in the due diligence stage, but we haven't committed to doing so quite yet," said Crystal Ghassemi, public relations manager for the company.

It's Your Business: Success leads to commercial site for guitar service shop

Hector Trevino's home-based business — a guitar repair and servicing shop — has done so well that it has moved to a commercial location in Urbana.

The Guitar Workshop opened at 1007 N. Cunningham Ave., Suite B — next to McCallister Audio — a few weeks ago.

It's Your Business: Work starts soon after changes in Latitude

Work is expected to get underway soon on the Latitude apartment development on University Avenue in Champaign.

As you may recall, Latitude will consist of two six-story buildings lining the north side of University Avenue between Fifth and Wright streets.

After husband's death, Shelby 'decided I wouldn't let it get too hard'

Long before she became one of the region's biggest car dealers, Jennifer Shelby hawked Thin Mints and Do-si-dos door to door in Champaign.

"When you are that young, it can be nerve-wracking to go do a sales pitch," says the ex-Brownie turned Girl Scout. "But if you can do it, it really is a good growing experience. If you can sell cookies, you can sell cars."

New owners ahead for Urbana auto dealer

URBANA — O'Brien Auto Park in Urbana could get a new owner by Sept. 1 of this year.

Jim Turner, president of the company, said he and majority owner Joe O'Brien have signed a letter of intent to sell the enterprise to the Ed Napleton Automotive Group.

It's Your Business: Couple to open mart specializing in African foods

When Memoire Budimbu Mabiza and Lisette Mbaki learned that Chang's Oriental Mart in Champaign would close this spring, they were sad — but also saw an opportunity.

The Congolese couple said many local African immigrants, including themselves, relied on Chang's for traditional African food staples.

Some wondered, "What food are we going to eat?" Mbaki said.