February 27, 2018
We can't believe it's almost March, but there's plenty to be excited about as we race through the first quarter of 2018. The Saint Louis region, propelled in part by successes in Southwestern Illinois, continues to gain recognition as a hot industrial market that appears to still have room for growth. In this edition of Good Newslink, we share insight on why!
We also highlight $225 million in grant funds from IDOT to be distributed over the next four years to continue to improve the mobility of freight through Southwestern Illinois. An additional $500 million is being made available in state loans to promote business growth in rural Illinois. This edition also includes news of a $1.5 million luxury apartment project planned for Belleville and details the completion of multi-million dollar municipal buildings in both Edwardsville and Belleville.
Finally, the Leadership Council's Salute to Southwestern Illinois Awards Celebration is still accepting reservations and sponsorships for the March 15 event. We can't wait to host you all as we celebrate major contributors in talent development from the past 35 years. If you'd like to join us in honoring these regional and industry leaders, give us a call at 618-692-9745.
Have a great week!
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
New $1.5M project will bring 'high-end' apartments to downtown Belleville
(Belleville News-Democrat, Feb. 21)
Another aging downtown building may get a face-lift as a Columbia company has received tax incentives to support its plans to spend $1.5 million to buy the building at 300 E. Main St. and develop 12 "high-end" apartments.  ( Read more )

Communities invited to submit projects for new $225 million IDOT freight program
(Illinois Business Journal, Feb. 20)
The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking project proposals for a new competitive grant program that aims to improve the mobility of freight at the local level. Applications are due April 6 for up to $225 million in National Highway Freight Program funds to be distributed through 2022.  ( Read more )

Why St. Louis is the next hot industrial market
(St. Louis Business Journal, 2/23/18)
For several years, Amazon has dominated the conversation in the St. Louis industrial market. Its 1.4 million square feet of Edwardsville distribution facilities came online in the summer of 2016 at the Lakeview Commerce Center and the Gateway Commerce Center. And in July 2017, the e-commerce behemoth leased 448,000 square feet of distribution space in the Hazelwood Logistics Center. ( Read more)
Treasurer announces $500 million loan program to boost business and rural growth
(Illinois Business Journal, Feb. 20)
Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today announced a loan program that commits $500 million in new money to flow through local banking institutions to help individuals obtain loans at below-market rates. (
Read more)

Regency Manor independent living operation opens in O'Fallon, Ill.
(Illinois Business Journal, Feb. 20)
Regency Manor, a 55+ independent living option, has opened at 128 Regency Park Drive, O'Fallon, Ill.  Regency Manor offers a secured setting with 24-hour staffing and a large lobby for socializing.  ( Read more)

IMPACT Strategies coming off two strong municipal construction projects
(Illinois Business Journal, Feb. 15)
IMPACT Strategies is on to its next challenge after completing two major municipal construction projects in the past few months.  The new $12 million Public Safety Facility in Edwardsville was wrapped up in November, not long after a project of similar magnitude in Belleville.  ( Read more )

Ameren Illinois enhancing energy grid in Madison County
(River Bender, Feb. 23)
Ameren Illinois announced today construction is well underway on an expansion of the company's transmission substation located on Maryville Road. Ameren Illinois is adding new high-voltage equipment inside the substation to further strengthen the reliability and flexibility of Ameren Illinois' transmission system throughout Madison County.   ( Read more )

Bethalto considering creation of new business district, 1 percent sales tax
(Alton Telegraph, Feb. 15)
Residents will have a chance to voice their opinions soon about whether they want to see a third business district, and an ensuing 1 percent sales tax for businesses within the district, established in Bethalto. A public hearing to receive input on the proposal is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Bethalto Village Hall, 213 N. Prairie St. The village board set the hearing date at Monday's regular board meeting. ( Read more)

East Alton prepping for another road project, this time Berkshire Boulevard
(Alton Telegraph, Feb. 19)
EAST ALTON - Another year, another major street project for the village of East Alton.
At its Feb. 6 meeting, the village board made plans for work to be done this summer on Berkshire Boulevard, the latest in a string of thoroughfares to get a facelift with the help of federal and county funds.  ( Read more )

Alton businesses eye improvements ahead of 'Small Business Revolution' announcement
(Alton Telegraph, Feb. 25)
The votes have been tallied and although the results won't be known until Tuesday afternoon, the wishing has begun in Alton. "I would definitely want to invest first in us and our employees and get equipment that I couldn't afford," said Mississippi Mud Pottery co-owner Felicia Breen. "An electrical upgrade would be really nice and new fixtures would be great."  ( Read more )

SIU Edwardsville ranked among nation's safest campuses
(Alton Telegraph, Feb. 22)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is ranked 11th nationally among the National Council for Home Safety and Security's 2018 Safest College Campuses in the U.S. among institutions with more than 10,000 students. SIUE was No. 1 in Illinois and ranked ahead of all institutions in Missouri. ( Read more)

Finance Committee approves re-appropriating $14.8 million
(Alton Telegraph, Feb. 14)
More than $14.8 million in funding from last year's budget was moved forward as part of the re-appropriation process approved by the Madison County Board's Finance & Government Operations Committee.  (Read more)

SIBA sponsors SIUE Constructor's Club to national AGC Convention
(Alton Telegraph, Feb. 21)
The Southern Illinois Builders Association (SIBA) is co-sponsoring the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Constructor's Club to attend the 2018 AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) Convention Feb. 26-28 in New Orleans. ( Read more)

SIUE's sixth annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day hosts hundreds
(Alton Telegraph, Feb. 20)
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted more than 200 young girls during its sixth annual "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" Saturday, Feb. 17, in the SIUE School of Engineering building. ( Read more)