Economy & Business news

Unemployment dropped sharply in the Quad Cities in April, falling from 5.3 per cent a year ago to 4.1 per cent last month. 

The Iowa Utilities Board wants to know what customers of Alliant Energy think about its request to raise rates. Starting Tuesday the board will hold eight public comment meetings across the state as it considers a possible 12.5 per cent increase.

Thanks to a strong second quarter, Deere and Company has raised its outlook for the year. Friday the company reported earnings rose to $802 million or $2.49 per share, compared to $1.56 a year ago.

Lewis Machine and Tool Company

The state of Iowa will help preserve jobs in Dubuque, and help a Quad Cities company move and expand. Friday the board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to a total of eight companies for job creation and expansion projects. 

Exterior of a brick building on a sunny day / Tranzon

A few months after a New Jersey company bought an office building in downtown Rock Island, it's trying to lease or sell it.

At the end of an online auction in February, a company named Entech Group was the highest bidder. And Michelle O'Neill reports it bought the former Bitco Insurance headquarters for $244,000.

David Levin, from NAI Ruhl Commercial Company, says Entech officials visited Rock Island and were surprised to find out the Quad Cities area is not as large as they thought. So the company has "no interest" in the Bitco property.

Road Machinery and Supplies

After twelve years in Milan, a distributor of heavy equipment has bought property in East Moline's industrial park, and hopes to expand. Road Machinery and Supplies, or RMS, is based in Minneapolis, with outlets in Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota.

Five bottles of liquor featuring Blaum Bros. labels, with yellow, black-eyed susan flowers behind them
submitted / Illinois Tourism Office

"Illinois Made" is just one theme the head of the state's Office of Tourism promoted this week in the Quad Cities. It's National Travel and Tourism Week, and Cory Jobe arrived in Rock Island on Tuesday morning for a "Sports Huddle" at the Holiday Inn.

He dropped by WVIK after the meeting, and Michelle O'Neill asked him what it was all about.

And here's the entire 28-minute conversation.

Simon Law

Triple-A has found an appropriate way to celebrate National Bicycle Safety Month. Roadside assistance is now available in Illinois for members who are bike riders. 

A deal between John Deere and Monsanto has been called off. Monsanto canceled the agreement to sell its subsidiary, Precision Planting.