Signs of life in 2015 economy

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Despite a state budget impasse and other issues, central Illinois communities still report signs of growth in their economies.
Statewide, unemployment rates fell from 6.1 percent in January to 5.4 percent in October, although preliminary numbers show an increase to 5.7 percent in November.

In Decatur, Chamber of Commerce president Mirinda Rothrock cited several businesses that opened or expanded during the year.

“Look at Akorn Pharmaceuticals’ expansion, you can look at Parke Warehouses’ expansion, we could speak to Convey Health Solutions, new to our community creating 300 jobs,” Rothrock said.

 In Taylorville, Chamber of Commerce president Patty Hornbuckle said the city is making progress on establishing a new industrial park and on plans for a new hotel and conference center, and she noted that construction on Illinois Route 29 to Taylorville is nearing completion.

“Route 29 has two lanes open now, so the bypass around Edinburg is now open,” Hornbuckle said. “So all we’ve got to do is get the southbound lanes open, and that’ll happen this spring. If you’ve got a two-lane road, the chances of attracting those businesses are basically little and none.”

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