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State Stix

Porcelain oil lamps

Whimsical gourds

A book enabling working parents to record what their children did in their absence

Crew neck bibs

Handcut replicas of your hometown

Fully jointed bears

Large bald eagle candles

Fine fruit and table wines

A gavel made of American black walnut and two real golf balls

'A Look Inside the Vatican' (prizewinning video)

These are only some of the things homemade and handcrafted by small businesses in Illinois ready to order for Christmas gifts. The details are in a handsome catalog available at the lieutenant governor's offices in Springfield and Chicago and at offices of the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs' Small Business Bureau. For more info, call 1-800-252-2933.
Source: Lura Lynn Ryan, Made in Illinois, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, 1988.

These are only some of the kinds of Illinois popcorn

Patented unique popcorn without hulls

Premium quality popping corn grown by Illinois farmers (available in 50 lb. bags)

Gourmet yellow hulless popcorn produced without herbicides or insecticides
Popcorn, carmelcorn and cheese corn in tins
Yellow popcorn in burlap or muslin bags
Black and white popcorn in wooden boxes
Certified Kosher popcorn
Source: Same as above.

Remodeling for new residents

In mid-October the Housing and Shelter Program, a nonprofit agency serving seven northwestern Cook County townships, was preparing a single-family home near DesPlaines as its first shelter for homeless women and children.
Source: Housing and Shelter Program, Palatine.

Where the action is for Asian-American businesses

According to a 1982 census report, 38 cities are home to 75 percent of the nation's Asian Americans and 78 percent of their businesses. (Population figures below are from 1980 census.)

Population: Honolulu: 1st (463,117); Chicago, 5th (150,846); St. Louis (Missouri-Illinois), 37th (14,017)

Number of Asian Americans owning businesses per 1,000 Asian-Americans in the population): Dallas-Fort Worth, 1st (90.3); St. Louis, 19th (54.3); Chicago, 23rd (51.4).

Annual sales: Los Angeles-Long Beach, 1st ($2.68 billion); Chicago, 4th ($450.95 million); St. Louis, 21st ($44.37 million)

Average sales per firm: Stockton, Calif., 1st ($109,783); St. Louis, 21st ($59,394); Chicago, 25th ($58,931).

Koreans, Asian Indians, Japanese and Chinese are above the national average in business ownership. Filipinos, Vietnamese and Hawaiians are far below the average, though still more likely to own their own businesses than Hispanics and blacks.
Source: "The Best Metros for Asian-American Businesses." American Demographics, August 1988.

How did Roselle get a $1.2 million park for only $391,875?

With a little help from some friends: the Open Lands Project (a nonprofit land-conservation group), Walter Clauss (the orginal landowner), the Department of Conservation and the Harris Bank of Roselle.
Source: Roselle Park District

Vanishing habitat for Playboy Bunnies

With the July 31 closing of the Hilton Inn in Lansing, Mich., there are no more Playboy Clubs on the North American continent. Four clubs still exist in Japan and one in the Philippines.
Source: Insight on the News, August 22, 1988.

California, Illinois, New York and Texas

Home to most of the 5,000 members of the American Federation of Astrologers.
Source: "Stargazers," American Demographics, September 1988.

The nation's biggest bowling alleys

  1. Showboat Lanes, Las Vegas (106 lanes)
  2. Thunderbowl, Allen Park, Mich. (94 lanes)
  3. Satellite Bowl, Dearborn Heights, Mich and Stardust Bowl, Addison, Ill. (84 lanes)
Source: USA Today, Friday, October 7, 1988.

Gentrification alert!

Unless the greenhouse effect turns Illinois into a dessert, our state will soon be on the cutting edge of chic. Expect to be overrun by Arizona realtors, California corporate farmers and Louisiana industrialists all wanting to show us how to develop our most undervalued asset—water.
Source: "The Real Price of Water," same as above.

General funds

The general fund end-of-month balance in September was $230.032 million. The average daily available balance was $180.367 million
Source: Office of the Comptroller.

Illinois jobless rate: lowest in nine years

In September the nation's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, down from 5.6 percent in August. In Illinois it dropped from 7 percent to 6 percent, the lowest it has been in nine years. The return of teachers, school staff workers and school bus drivers to their jobs accounted for the sharp decline in the state's unemployment rate.

At the same time there were fewer people in the Illinois labor force than last month and fewer people working because students returned to school and seasonal summer jobs ended. The September labor force consisted of 5.797 million people; 5.450 million were working and 347,000 were unemployed.

Final unemployment rates in the state's metro areas were:

Aurora-Elgin, 4.8 percent.
Bloomington-Normal, 4.4 percent.
Champaign-Urbana-Rantoul, 3.8 percent.
Chicago, 5.6 percent.
Quad Cities (Illinois sector), 8.0 percent.
Decatur, 8.5 percent.
Joliet, 6.9 percent.
Kankakee, 8.3 percent.
Lake County, 3.9 percent.
Peoria, 6.5 percent.
Rockford, 8.8 percent.
Springfield, 4.4 percent.
St. Louis (Illinois sector), 7.9 percent.
Source: Department of Employment Security.

Margaret S. Knoepfle

November 1988 | Illinois Issues | 6

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