Shoppes at Grandon Plaza

Applications for the 2024 Season now open!

The Shoppes at Grandon Plaza, a retail incubator project by Sterling Main Street, is designed to attract small businesses, create more retail shopping options, and bring people into downtown Sterling. Applications are now open for our 2nd Season opening in May 2024.

The ongoing long-term goal of this project is to continue to foster entrepreneurship in Sterling and the greater Sauk Valley region, specifically as it relates to retail shopping. To provide a structured setting for new businesses to test their market, while also providing ongoing educational support and training for those entrepreneurs to help ensure their best chance of long-term success in a competitive and challenging retail environment. And further, to provide a pipeline of new businesses to keep storefronts occupied and add to the prosperity of the communities in which they locate.

Running a business is a big venture and we want you to succeed! This is why applicants are REQUIRED TO SUBMIT A BUSINESS PLAN along with their application. If you don’t have one yet, the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College can help you create one.  Their services are free of charge. Visit

Our Current Shoppes

Rustic Paw Studio


Vendors may stay open longer than the times listed, and Sunday through Wednesday hours are optional.

  • Thursdays 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Fridays 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Saturdays 10:00am – 4:00pm

Information for Prospective Applicants

Rent & Hours of Operation

The Shoppes at Grandon Plaza will be open May through December each year.

Rent for the season is $2,400 ($300 per month) for the 12×16 incubator which will house your small business for the 8-month season, and includes utilities.

Hours – May through December

Please note the dates and times below are the MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS. Vendors may stay open longer than the times listed, and Sunday through Wednesday hours are optional.

  • Thursdays & Fridays– 10am to 6pm
  • Saturdays – 10am to 4pm


Additional Summer Hours Required

Wednesday evenings during the 10-week series of Municipal Band Concerts held at the adjacent Grandon Civic Center, from late May through early August each summer, from 4pm to 7pm.

These days and hours will be MANDATED, and Vendors should consider who can cover their shops if they cannot be there.

Vendor Selection

Six 12×16 units will be available each year. Applications WILL NOT be considered unless they are complete.

Applicants are required to submit a business plan with their application. If you need assistance in preparing your business plan, please contact the IL Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College. This is a Free resource for business support & training.

2024 Application will close on February 18th, and vendors will be notified of their acceptance in early March. Possession of the units will be delivered to vendors at the beginning of April and vendors will have one month to customize their spaces prior to the May opening.

An independent jury will review all applications and select the vendors for each season. The jury committee will strive for diversity in vendor offerings, and applications will be reviewed with this in mind. However, multiple applications may be approved that sell similar type items. Once approved, vendors may not add additional products without the prior approval of the Grandon Plaza Shoppes Manager.

Vendors will be provided a contract for the season, and unit assignments will be made by the Grandon Plaza Shoppes Manager. All vendors must participate in the marketing and events of the Shoppes, as well as participate in the required training sessions that will be provided.

No businesses which require potable water, heating or preparing of food onsite will be accepted due to the limitations of the incubator spaces.

Cancellation Policy

No refunds for vendor cancellations will be given. Vendors may not sublet their location to another vendor. Vendors who do so will forfeit their lease. Only vendors listed and approved on the original agreement will be allowed.

Sales Tax & Licensing

All Shoppes are required to pay sales tax as well as carry insurance on space and product. If your business type requires licensing, proof of that will be require as well.

Vendor applicants with additional questions may contact:

Sterling Main Street
Janna Groharing, Executive Director
15 East 3rd Street
Sterling, IL 61081
Phone:  815-626-8610

Food Trucks Also Wanted

Rendering provided by McCloud & Associates Architecture

2 Parking Pads dedicated for use by area Food Trucks are also available for the 2024 Shoppe’s Season. 220 electric available, no generator needed. Dates must be scheduled in advance. Contact Sterling Main Street for more information and to reserve your dates.

Thank You to our Project Partners and Investors

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