Revitalizing a downtown commercial district requires focusing on the underlying Economic Vitality of the district. This work is rooted in a commitment to making the most of Sterling’s unique sense of place and existing historic assets, harnessing local economic opportunity in creating a supportive business environment for small business owners and the growing scores of entrepreneurs, innovators and localists. With the nation-wide growing interest in living downtown, supporting downtown housing is also a key element of building Economic Vitality.
Our economic vitality committee meets as needed, working closely with the Greater Sterling Development Corp., City of Sterling and Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce to keep the storefronts of downtown Sterling occupied and provide support to those business as needed to ensure healthy and thriving businesses.
Sterling Main Street is the steward of the Twin City Farmer’s Market. Started in 2005, and located in the historic Twin City Produce building at 106 Avenue A in downtown Sterling, the Twin City Farmer’s Market is open year-round providing the community access to local produce, meats, eggs & cheese, as well as a wide variety of baked goods, other prepared foods, arts & crafts. A new mid-week market was introduced in the Summer of 2016 on Tuesday evenings throughout the growing season to give the community even more access to locally produced goods.
In 2014, Sterling Main Street took over leadership of the Sterling Mural Society. Marking the Society’s 20th Anniversary, a 20th mural, “Lincoln in Sterling,” was installed in July 2015, and plans are in the works for new promotional materials in support of the murals, as well as to establish a plan to address the ongoing maintenance needs of the murals in order to preserve them for generations to come.
The Sterling Welcome Center & Gallery, located at 318 First Avenue, was opened in November 2014. This new project served to meet two needs seen in the community: a space where information about the community could be obtained, and also to meet a desire by the region’s artistic community for a venue to display and sells their works.