2010 GAMSA Semifinalist Aledo, Illinois

Aledo Main Street’s legacy is best summarized by the downtown’s robust and vibrant business environment, the renovation and beautification of the downtown, and the successful partnerships that serve as the foundation for the current and future prosperity of the community. Over a dozen new, sustainable businesses have opened in recent years; and these new businesses, as well as the many existing businesses, have prospered in this small, rural community despite the recent economic downturn.

The Numbers

Population: 3,700
Net number of new jobs: 129
Net number of new businesses: 29
Number of building rehabilitations: 15
Number of new buildings: 2
Vacancy rate when the program began: 60%
Vacancy rate today: 7%
Dollar amount of public investment: $4,906,565
Dollar amount of private investment: $2,628,375

In Their Own Words

Aledo, Illinois, (pop. 3,700) is a rural community somewhat off the beaten path. A trip to Aledo is usually intentional unless you’re passing through to somewhere else. The largest metropolitan area is 30 minutes away. So why is Aledo known throughout the state of Illinois? Because we, unlike many other small rural communities, have been able to keep our community not just alive, but actually thriving! This did not just happen. It takes many resources and we have helped corral them. Aledo Main Street is a key player in our community’s survival. We are the organization people want to be part of because we are making things happen and, best of all, using THEIR ideas. We do not operate in a bubble nor do we think we have all the answers. We do our homework. We look at local finances, trends, and attitudes. We seek out other organizations for possible partnerships. We have become the “go to” organization where people come to share their talents, ideas, time, and money.