A group of elected officials and business leaders from Sweden are helping Rockford celebrate its Swedish roots.
The visitors from Skaraborg helped announce a donation of $1.5 million to the Swedish Historical Society. That money was donated by the late Conrad Johnson, who emigrated to Rockford from Sweden when he was just 19 years old.
The group also unveiled a new bike rack that incorporates both American and Swedish construction styles to symbolize unity.
One visiting business leader says the city’s history helps attract Swedish companies to the area.
“The Swedish heritage here in Rockford really allows Rockford to be an attractive destination for Swedish companies today,” said international business developer Linnea Bengtsson. “We know the Swedish companies can go anywhere in the competitive market in the United States, but by Rockford hanging onto the Swedish heritage, it allows them to position themselves in a way that’s interesting to current Swedish residents and business owners.”
The visit stems from the partnership between Rockford and another Swedish city that’s been in plce for the past 10 years.