By being a Main Street community it means that we are a town that takes action, especially when it comes to revitalizing downtown. It's that positive energy that is why Luan Dean and her co-owner decided to put Lula's Vintage Boutique in downtown Rockford. Dean's hope is that the main street program can bring in some much needed retail competition.
Luan Dean says, "We see people that come from other cities wanting to know what's going on. The more growth means it will bring more people and increase our business."
By being part of Main Street downtown businesses can make changes on outside of buildings. Take Kryptonite for example where many changes have already been made to the facade and signage. You can expect more of that throughout downtown Rockford."
Kryptonite lights up at night and accent lighting is just one way more businesses can be in the spotlight. Chris Wachowiak is the owner of Kryptonite. He says, "Downtown is gorgeous. We have nothing like it so the best thing to so is light it up day and night."
Main Street communities qualify for free design assistance. A big part of making sure the past is preserved will be the River District. That association already focuses on revival but the program opens up a whole new approach. Executive Director of the River District Kim Wheeler says, "The Main Street puts us in touch with people that we haven't talked to and they can give us ideas. The networking will be helpful to our organization."
Belvidere and DeKalb are already part of the Main Street program and now Rockford can be part of their dialogue. Tami Brodnicki with the Main Street Center in Belvidere says, "I come to Rockford and I notice renovation on upper level that I want to get in and see and then I want to come to our town and see and get different ideas from people."
One community helping another community since both have he same vested interest that the downtown thrives. Next Thursday, November 17, 2005 the River District will be hosting an informational session about the facade rebate program through the City of Rockford. That meeting will be at 6 p.m. at Memorial Hall in Rockford.