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Business notebook: Project Golden Prairie bringing jobs

Project Golden Prairie bringing jobs

ROCHELLE – The governor’s office is expected to announce in about 2 weeks a new factory in ProLogis Park near the Lee and Ogle counties border that is expected to bring about 100 to 200 jobs, Jason Anderson of Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corp. said.

Known as Project Golden Prairie for now, the manufacturer is expected to invest $35 million to $45 million and build a 300,000-square-foot facility.

“We just have a couple of hurdles before it’s announced, and the governor’s office will make the announcement,” Anderson said. “This is a significant project.”

The Dixon City Council expanded its enterprise zone for the manufacturer.

An enterprise zone is a statewide economic development tool utilized by select communities to persuade new or old business to expand there by cutting a portion or all of their property taxes, sales taxes on building materials or utility costs.

In the past, the zone has been extended to the Rochelle area to annex Union-Pacific Global III Intermodal Terminal, Illinois River Energy, Nippon Sharyo and Coated Sand Solutions.

Merle Norman gets makeover

STERLING – After giving countless makeovers to customers, the Merle Norman studio at 806 E. Third St. is getting a makeover.

The studio closed Thursday and will reopen Tuesday with new carpet, new fixtures at its facial bar and a new area to try out makeup and skin care products, owner Cindy Fane said.

Products will be displayed in a more modern way with colors, Fane said.

“We’re really excited about the facial bar in the back,” she said.

Free steam facials are given any time. The studio suggests customers come for a steam facial once a week for 3 weeks and then get a “booster” facial once a month, she said.

“It’s a good thing to make sure those products you’re using at home are working the way they should and it gives a boost to the skin.”

The studio will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 815-625-3751 or find Merle Norman Sterling on Facebook for more information.

Abra Auto Body opens

STERLING – Abra Auto Body & Glass is open at 1818 Locust St., co-owner Jason Hachmeister said.

The full-service body repair shop offers windshield repair and replacement, and free estimates for auto body repairs. The shop also uses an environmentally friendly paint as opposed to oil-based paint, he said.

Abra will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Go to or call 815-625-2272 for more information.

Farm service cooperative releases annual report

ROCK FALLS – A cooperative with branches in Rock Falls, Oregon and Princeton has reported that it ended last year with growth in income, capital, assets and acres insured.

Normal-based 1st Farm Credit Services reached $94.3 million in net income, more than $752.1 million in total member equity and surpassed $4.8 billion in year-end owned and managed assets, the cooperative said in a news release.

The cooperative provides agriculture loans, risk-management products, crop insurance, loan and lease options, and agricultural real estate appraisals. It serves 42 counties in the northern half of Illinois through 16 offices.

Go to for more information or to see the full annual financial report.

Have a business tip? Let us know. Email SVM reporters Bridget Flynn, or Derek Barichello,, or call 800-798-4085, ext. 521 or 526.

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