Rockford City Market has been a popular attraction in downtown Rockford for over a decade, but this year local businesses want to scale it down a bit.

You may have seen some of your social media friends share this image, Keep State Open & Support Local Business.

But do you know the whole story?

One of the founding members of the movement is Paul Sletten, who owns Abreo restaurant in downtown Rockford. He owns other downtown buildings and restaurants too, plus food trucks and mobile cocktail bars.

After a recent City Council Meeting in Rockford, he shared this update in reference to his hope to 'Keep State Open.'

His posts begins with details from City Market's expansion in May of last year, citing that social distancing was part of the reason the footprint of the market started reaching further down State Street.

A powerful paragraph ends his post:

The Rockford City Market will continue to change the narrative to keep expanding their business footprint and doing what is best for them, not our community. It will continue to create a divide between “us” and “them” and is on a fast track to becoming Waterfront 2.0, another once great event that lost touch with its community and led to its demise.
We will continue to fight every year to #keepstateopen and support our downtown brick & mortar businesses. Thanks to all of you that supported by sharing, posting and showing up to council. And special thanks to Sandy Kohn for lighting the fire.
Sandy Kohn is another business owner in downtown Rockford with businesses on E. State Street.
The first day of this year's Rockford City Market is Friday, May 20, the Facebook event for the first weekend includes details about over 70 local vendors participating in the market this year, food trucks, live music and kids activities too.

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