Sterling Main Street Officially Designated as an Accredited Program for 2024 by Main Street America

Sterling Main Street has been designated as an Accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards. Each year, Main Street America and its partners announce the list of designated programs to recognize their exceptional commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

In 2023, the Main Street America programs generated $5.68 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 6,630 net new businesses, facilitated the creation of 35,162 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 10,556 historic buildings, and leveraged 1,664,763 volunteer hours. On average, for every dollar that a Main Street program spent to support their operations, it generated $18.03 of new investment back into their downtown and commercial corridor communities.

“We are incredibly excited to celebrate this year’s 800 Accredited Main Street America programs, and their remarkable efforts to reenergize their local economies and public spaces,” said Main Street America President and CEO Erin Barnes. “Main Street leaders are visionaries that see things that no one else can see and create the future world we all want to live in. The size and impact of our network demonstrates that great things happen when visions are realized through strategic, grassroots collaboration.”  

Sterling Main Street’s performance was evaluated through assessments conducted by the organization’s personnel and board of directors, and Illinois Main Street, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify local programs that meet rigorous national community evaluation standards.

These standards provide the Main Street America network with a strong foundational framework to review progress, recognize strengths, understand trends, and identify strategies that move Main Street programs forward. To quality for Accredited status—Main Street America’s top designation tier—communities must demonstrate a proven track record of achieving outcomes in alignment with the Main Street Approach and exceptional performance in six areas: broad-based community commitment to revitalization; inclusive leadership and organizational capacity; diversified funding and sustainable program operations; strategy-driven programming; preservation-based economic development; and demonstrated impact and results.

“Having originally received accreditation in 2009 when Sterling Main Street  became a designated Illinois Main Street community, and having maintained accreditation every year since, is a testament to our organization’s commitment to the ongoing revitalization of downtown Sterling,” says Janna Groharing, executive director. “It’s about engaging the businesses and community at large, and continually striving to make incremental improvements that add to the vitality of our downtown. We are very proud of the growth we have seen and for having retained accredited status for 15 years!”


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