Well, there is a new business in town, two actually.
H. B. Taylor is a food flavoring and processing business which is relocating to Calumet City from Chicago. They are moving next to Gelita, an international company that makes gelatin products. These companies are in the northeast corner of Calumet City.
The other business moving in deals more directly with the public and that is Fuller Car Wash, which opened recently on Torrence Avenue.
On the other side, there are closings in the offing. Due to the bankruptcy of Central Grocers (the Centrella brand) the Ultra in Lansing and most of the other Ultras will be closing. The fate of the Strack & Van Til stores, of which Central Grocers is 80 percent owner, is also in doubt.
The grocery business is changing rapidly. The mom and pop groceries of my youth hardly exist anymore. Even a really large chain like Central Grocers can’t make it.
I know Calumet City Mayor Michelle Qualkinbush really wants a full-service retail food outlet in our city, preferably in the way under-used Wentworth Woods property, but I don’t see how that can happen in this business climate.
Cities work hard to attract business and it often takes incentives to get and keep businesses in town.
I was at the last Calumet City Council meeting. In one vote, the council approved seven authorizations totaling over $660,000 for arrangements the city had made over time with big businesses encouraging them either to move or stay in town.
This is kind of the price of getting and keeping businesses in economically stagnant cities like ours.
And then the deals don’t always last for a long time, as the empty former Calumet City Target building attests to.
But there is a newly formed Calumet Region Enterprise Zone which is offering businesses in several south suburbs numerous incentives to improve or expand their operations.
Business is a tough business.
I just lost a tree on my property a while ago. It passed. And in the last few years, a couple more good sized ones on my block went.
But the Calumet Memorial Park District is helping to correct this loss. They are having a tree planting event (red oaks) at Sandridge Community Center. It’s a free event. The date is May 20, and the Center is located at 600 Oglesby Ave. The time is 11 a.m. Call Thom Miller at 708-868-2530 for details.
Thanks for reading.