Tuesday, April 27, 2010

State budget crisis hitting local businesses' bottom line

More than two-thirds of local businesses say state budget problems and late payments have hurt their bottom line.

A spring economic survey by the University of Illinois Springfield also found that business owners believe chronic financial problems at the state will remain a major challenge in the coming year.

Nonetheless, the survey also found that local business owners are in a somewhat better mood than last fall, though they expect the economic recovery to be slow.

More than a quarter expect at least some business growth this year, up 4 percentage points from a September survey. Nearly three-fourths expect the economy to stay about the same or to continue its decline.

“Things are looking better, but they are not real confident yet,” said Patty Byrnes with the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS.

The survey was featured in a April 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

UIS alternative prom provides option for gay students

Springfield-area high school students uncomfortable with bringing dates of the same gender to their own schools’ proms have another option — an “Alternative Prom” at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The event, which runs from 8:30 p.m. to midnight on April 24 in the student center at the UIS Student Life Building, will be the sixth annual alternative prom sponsored by the UIS Queer-Straight Alliance, according to Jessica Enock, 22, a UIS junior from Buffalo Grove and chair of the event’s planning committee.

Enock said the UIS event, which has no admission charge, is open to any area high school or college-age students — gay or straight — and is geared toward young people who want to attend a dance where they will not be judged based on their sexual orientation.

Alternative prom was featured in a April 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

UIS notebook: Class 2A boys supersectional draws largest TRAC crowd yet

The Class 2A boys basketball supersectional between Robinson and Decatur St. Teresa high schools Tuesday brought the largest crowd ever to The Recre­ation and Athletic Center on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

A throng of 2,600 spectators, according to UIS athletic director Rodger Jehlicka, packed the stands of the four-year-old facility that holds nearly 3,000. Those in attendance saw Robinson and University of Illinois recruit Mey­ers Leonard win 81-60. That’s the fullest Jehlicka has ever seen TRAC.

About 1,100 spectators saw Springfield High edge Belleville Althoff 60-59 in overtime in a Class 3A girls basketball super­sectional game March 1 at TRAC. The NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference held its men’s and women’s basketball championships there last week­end.

The TRAC numbers were featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Tourist town: Springfield hopes to increase tourism

The Capital Area Sports Commission recently partnered for the first time with the University of Illinois Springfield to host the Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II conference brought more than 300 players, coaches and staff and at least $100,000 to Springfield last weekend. In addition to pre-conference preparations, the sports commission provided beverages for the teams and recruited volunteers to take tickets at the door.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll see other tournaments,” says Amy Beadle, SCVB sales manager. “We want to put our best foot forward, make the city look good, make UIS look good, and hopefully bring other sporting events.”

The partnership was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

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