Rockford’s Beautification Efforts


First impressions matter.  Which is why Rockford leaders have challenged local businesses to step up their game.  The challenge is part of a new pilot program that puts businesses on the frontlines of the city’s beautification effort. 

The program is called “Business is Blooming,” and the improvements local business owners made take the program’s name as a literal interpretation of the effort.  State street, downtown Rockford passerbys are greeted with many store fronts and restaurants.  Fronted with vibrant colorful flowers that line the sidewalks.Which all came at a price of $500,000.  The city of Rockford, RACVB and Business owners around the downtown area had invested.  President and CEO of Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, John Groh says its necessary to make that part of town the place to be.

“We’re trying to encourage and celebrate whats right and what’s good about downtown businesses and central city businesses ,” said Groh. “Who are beautifying their store fronts and encouraging others to do so.”

RACVB hosted a “Business is Blooming’ contest  and extension of Forest City  Beautiful, a program  that looks to beautify the Rockford region.  RACVB leaders, store and restuarant owners and businesses looking to revitalize spaces.  Director of Destination Development for RACVB, Tana Vettore says may need a little extra.
“Landscape care, signage, what are the ‘WOW’ factors? how is their graffiti? is it liter free?” asked Vettore.  “Many aspects that may make a business inviting to a customer and a good neighbor to its community.

Prairie Street Brewing Company, tied with Abreo for best restaurant outdoor dininng. The brewhouse’s, Vice President and Co-founder , Reed Sjostrom says he’s grateful to have won the award.

“We’re just really proud and happy to be apart of this fantastic group of other business that are doing the same thing” said Sjostrom. “And doing a great job of making our city more beautiful.”

The RACVB will next mission will be to revitalize the space right off I-90 and State street.  The RACVB will work with the City.

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