Next Rockford

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

Day to day it's anyone’s guess about what is really going to happen here in Rockford. But one group is trying to have a better handle on what we might see in the crystal ball. Next Rockford is trying to determine what will light up the community....or especially younger generations. Krypto Music Lounge owner Chris Wachowiak states, "We're all in our late 20's/early 30's and not happy with our own participation in town. That's why we all got together."

These focus groups discuss how Rockford can be different from other communities and what will make us better and more attractive. Jeff Glass with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP says, “Improvements in downtown and having a restaurant row and more cultural things for people. By just promoting the fact that you can get a nice home for a lot less money."

Other suggestions include a downtown pedestrian mall, changes in downtown bar hours, and returning to Home Rule. Next Generation Consulting group is gathering all the information. Callie Gray says, "The global economy is changing so they want to make sure Rockford can attract and retain young people."

Almost 2,000 Rockford employers also answered the same questions. And more input is still needed. If you were born after 1965 you too can get involved in Next Rockford. The group meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 7:30 a.m. From here the focus group's answers and business surveys will be compiled and presented early next year.


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