Monday, December 14, 2009

Saunemin Fitness Center suitable for kids, adults

SAUNEMIN -- Saunemin finally has a suitable facility for kids and adults to exercise.

The Fitness Center, attached to the elementary school at 39 Main St, has a number of cardiovascular and weight machines and an open gym. It opened last week.

Students formerly had to walk across the street to a building that used to be part of a 1930s-era high school. Superintendent Julie Schmitt said the building had water problems and structural and mobility issues. "That building has served the district for a lot of years ... and the board has talked about the possibility of selling it," she said. "We will definitely entertain any serious offers, and to tear it down will cost quite a bit due to asbestos."

The village paid for part of the $1.42 million fitness center, with the remaining two-thirds paid by the school through general obligation bonds. No property tax rates were increased in order to pay for the center.

"It sure is a welcome addition for our village for the services that it provides to the village and to the school," said Mayor Bob Bradford.

Hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. Monthly fees are $20 and $25 for individual residents and families; and $25 and $30 for nonresident individuals and families.

(Source: The Pantagraph, by Tony Sapochetti, 12/13/09)

Friday, December 11, 2009

GLCEDC Grant Recipient: The Comity Buzz, Pontiac IL

GLCEDC assisted in funding the interior renovations pictured here at The Comity Buzz in downtown Pontiac through the Commercial Business Improvement Grant (CBIG). The renovations are well underway and the coffee shop should be opening soon. When open, The Comity Buzz will employ up to seven people, 2 full time managers and 5 part time employees. They will be serving a variety of drinks and baked goods.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Opportunities in Education

Several companies in Livingston County offer educational assistance programs. Basically these companies offer financial assistance in certain courses of study and in return the student commits to return to that company to work for a specified amount of time after completion of his or her degree.

In this area OSF St. James Hospital, Evenglow Continuing Life Community, and Doc's Drugs offer educational assistance programs. If you or someone you know is interested in getting a degree in the health industry, information about the company's educational assistance programs is available on their websites.

Also, Heartland Community College is now offering a program in radiology. If you are interested in that program please go to the HCC website for more information.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Academic Earth is a great website for viewing lectures given by professors at some of America's top universities. The website includes a wonderful section on Entrepreneurship. The following video is an example of a lecture available on this site. Please go to and view the "Subjects" tab for more lectures on a variety of different subjects that can be viewed for free.

Watch it on Academic Earth

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Myths Of Owning A Small Business

In 2007, Anand Sanwal was managing a $50 million innovation fund for American Express. His job: to identify and incubate new business ideas--and that meant doing gobs of market research, much of it on small, closely held companies. One problem: Public information on private companies was scarce, and the data that did exist wasn't in much of a structured, useful format.

Sanwal knew he wasn't the only one looking for that kind of information. So he and some partners launched Manhattan-based CB Information Systems to do just that. The company's Web-based software, marketed under the name ChubbyBrain (, trolls the Web for data on private companies--what they do, who is buying and selling them and for how much. "We are all engineers who went to business school, so we thought we had what was an elegant, logical and robust plan," says Sanwal, 35. "We were pretty happy with ourselves."

But no matter what the textbooks say, having a great idea and a solid business plan often aren't enough. To fund the software development, Sanwal was banking on income from a few consulting gigs inspired by a book he had written on corporate-resource allocation. Sanwal had gotten roughly $2 million in verbal agreements from CEOs or CFOs at three large financial-service companies. Then the stock market tanked and the deals were put on hold.

With no backup plan, Sanwal dipped into his savings and cobbled a bunch of smaller consulting engagements to keep his dream alive. Larger deals (the paying kind) followed. Now ChubbyBrain competes with Dow Jones and Thomson in tracking venture activity, and plans to roll out a line of new private-company data products in 2010. While stronger for the experience, Sanwal says the hard lesson still lingers: "A deal is not closed until the ink dries, no matter how many assurances you have from the other party."

For the 11 Myths, follow the link.