Sterling Main Street Named Quarterfinalist for “America’s Main Streets” Contest

Sterling Main Street Named Quarterfinalist for “America’s Main Streets” Contest
Support Sterling Main Street in Sterling, Illinois by Voting Today

STERLING, IL –The national small business movement, Independent We Stand, announces the quarterfinalists, including Sterling Main Street, of the 2016 Independent We Stand “America’s Main Streets” contest. As the lifeblood of our cities and towns, Main Streets play an important role in the long-term success of communities and help build a sense of place. Independent We Stand invites the public to vote for their favorite quarterfinalist and move a deserving Main Street one step closer to the grand prize of $25,000.

In 1999 Sterling Main Street began organizing as a dedicated small group of Sterling business owners and community leaders who envisioned a vibrant downtown experience for all.   Working for many years to bring the Main Street® Program to Sterling, their hard work and vision was finally rewarded when they received official accreditation from the Illinois Main Street Program in March of 2009.  Today, Sterling Main Street, a volunteer-driven organization, continues to utilize the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization.  This approach is based on a comprehensive strategy, tailored to local needs and opportunities in four broad areas:  Organization, Design, Economic Vitality and Promotion.  Sterling Main Street also provides oversights for the Twin City Farmers’ Market, the Murals, and the Welcome Center & Gallery in Downtown Sterling.  “The downtown district is the heart and soul of any community – its shops and merchants helping to provide its unique character.  Providing support for the merchants in the downtown district, coordinating activities and events to draw the community (and beyond) to the downtown, and helping preserve and beautify the downtown is the mission of Main Street,” says Janna Groharing, executive director of Sterling Main Street.  “$25,000 would be of great benefit to our program and its project list for improvements in the downtown. From our ongoing beautification efforts, to helping cover the costs of community programs such as Movies at Grandon, every dollar helps. $25,000 would be of huge benefit toward implementing our projects and events for this year and beyond.”

“The goal of this inaugural Independent We Stand ‘America’s Main Streets’ contest is to promote the importance and strong economic benefits of Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive,” says Independent We Stand co-founder Bill Brunelle. “We are so pleased to see how passionate people are about their Main Streets. It’s evident by the broad range of nominations we saw representing 44 states in the first round. Now, it’s time to rally and vote again for these terrific quarterfinalists.”

More than 150,000 votes were cast for 253 nominees during the nominations phase. The quarterfinalists in alphabetical order are:

Semifinalist voting begins May 2 at and runs through May 29.

The winner of the 2016 “America’s Main Streets” contest will be announced June 3.

Contest prizes include:

  • $25,000 grand prize
  • STIHL Equipment Certificate for $1,000 worth of STIHL equipment good at any STIHL dealer in the U.S.
  • $500 Tire Pros certificate towards a set of Continental tires
  • $500 Do it Best Corp. shopping spree
  • $500 PPG Pittsburgh Paints shopping spree
  • Public relations and social media recognition
  • An Alignable small business social media “Neighborhood” on the site
  • Special plaque for winner to proudly display

For more information on Sterling Main Street, visit our website,, or stop by the office at 318 First Avenue in Downtown Sterling, call 815. 626.8610, or email

Co-presenting Sponsors:

STIHL Inc., America’s number-one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment, is the founding sponsor of Independent We Stand and a co-presenting sponsor of America’s Main Streets contest. The company follows a unique distribution strategy in the handheld power equipment industry, choosing never to sell products at big box stores, but instead remaining loyal to its 9,000+ independent servicing dealers nationwide.

FCA US BusinessLink is an organization within FCA US LLC that encompasses the commercial dealer network, BusinessLink, as well as develops cost-of-doing-business reducing programs and valuable-to-business incentives for small business consumers. is the destination for commercial vehicles, testimonials, current incentives, finding a local dealer and much more.

Supporting Sponsors:

About Sterling Main Street
Sterling Main Street, a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization, is a nationally accredited Main Street® program which utilizes the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach® to downtown revitalization.  This approach is based on a comprehensive strategy, tailored to local needs and opportunities in four broad areas:  Organization, Design, Economic Vitality and Promotion.

About Independent We Stand
Independent We Stand is a movement of independent business owners across the country dedicated to informing their communities about the importance of “Buying Local” and how these efforts bolster their local economy. This movement supports all local and national causes committed to boosting local economic development projects. The Independent We Stand movement is co-sponsored by STIHL Inc. and FCA US LLC.

Voting Link to Sterling’s profile:

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