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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2000

Governor Announces Grant for First Phase in Florists' Mutual's New Business Park

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today awarded a $500,000 grant to the City of Edwardsville, to assist Florists' Mutual Insurance Company in developing 39 acres of their 110 acre professional commerce center. The company's site, near Interstate 55, has been plagued with abandoned facilities that will be replaced by a 64,000 square foot headquarters.

As a result of the project, Florists' Mutual will hire 34 full-time employees in addition to the current 250 that will be retained.

"Since the early 1920's, Florists' Mutual has called Edwardsville home," Ryan said. "Supporting the company's growth here in Illinois is good for the economy and good for the workers. My administration is committed to making sure company's like Florist's Mutual can flourish."

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) awarded the grant through the Business Development Public Infrastructure Program (BDPIP). The City of Edwardsville will use this loan to construct approximately 17,000 feet of sanitary sewer lines and 8,000 feet of a force main and a lift station from the existing North Interceptor along Little Mooney Creek to Stauton Road.

This newly developed area will be the site for Florists' Mutual new corporate headquarters. The extension of the sewer lines will not only support development of the Florists' Mutual project, but also several other potential new residential, public, and commercial developments along the extension.

"Florists' Mutual has a national presence with policy holders in 49 states and the District of Columbia," DCCA Director, Pam McDonough said. "Illinois' central location, quality workforce, and friendly business climate make it the ideal location for companies like Florists' Mutual that do business from coast to coast."

Florists' Mutual Insurance Company specializes in providing property and casualty insurance to nurseries, horticultural companies, and "Main Street" florists. Florists' Mutual is the only insurance company dedicated solely to the horticultural industry.

"Our Company is pleased with the support shown by the State of Illinois and the City of Edwardsville to help provide the regional infrastructure required for our new headquarters," Florists' Mutual Company President, Robert McClellan said. "Illinois will continue to be a great home for us and for the economic growth this project will create."

"The City of Edwardsville is grateful to Governor Ryan and the State of Illinois for helping us expand our wastewater collection system," Mayor Niebur said. "The project will retain hundreds of quality jobs at Florists' Mutual, which is great news from one of the largest employers in the city and an outstanding corporate citizen of the State."


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