Retail and service outlets in the Illinois Valley serve a market area of 15,000 people in LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam, and Marshall counties and meet most consumer needs and attract shoppers from a large geographical area. Residents have an average annual income of about $32,600. As a result, retail sales in the Illinois Valley reach more than $400.5 million annually. Sales in the quad-county area exceed $1.5 billion each year.
In LaSalle's downtown business district one will find restaurants, retail establishments, a variety of services, beauty salons, and more.
Peru's Fourth Street is a downtown retail center where merchants and a variety of professional services prosper. Peru is currently involved in redeveloping its downtown area. Already constructed is a beautiful city plaza where an elegant eight-foot bronze statue of Maud Powell stands erect. (Maud Powell was born in Peru in 1867 and became a famous violinist.) A number of new buildings have been constructed, with more in the planning stages. Older downtown building are receiving facelifts and expansions are also taking place.
A favorite attraction for both browsers and buyers is the regional Peru Mall, a facility employing more than 1,000 persons. An average of 32,000 people from the Illinois Valley and surrounding region visit the mall on a weekly basis. Anchored by three major department stores, the mall houses approximately 70 stores, including beauty salons, eight cinemas, a game room, and inviting places to eat. The Peru Mall also features entertainment for both children and adults.
In addition to downtown and mall shopping, neighborhood convenience centers are scattered throughout the communities and are ideal for neighborhood shopping. Oglesby, Spring Valley, Wenona, and the smaller communities in the Illinois Valley have their own downtown retail centers where many daily family needs are satisfied.
The numerous restaurants in the Illinois Valley offer a variety of attractive cuisine and delightful atmospheres. There are also plenty of well-located, family-style and fast-food restaurants where prices fit easily into the family budget.
Major motel chains and smaller motels and hotels provide a total of over 1,000 units for business travelers and vacationers. Many offer rooms for meetings and seminars as well as recreational facilities.
Local radio stations, WLPO/WAJK, WLRZ, WAIV and WALS broadcast AM and FM programming and provide coverage of national and community events. Cable television services distribute major net - works and a variety of movie, news, and entertainment channels. The News-Tribune, a regional newspaper is published daily except Sunday and reports local, state, national, and international news to a reading public of over 21,500. In addition, the Bureau County Republic and the Putnam County Record newspapers also circulate in the Illinois Valley.
Investment capital, sound financial advice, and a full range of services are offered by the financial institutions of the Illinois Valley. Twenty-two banks and three savings and loan associations, with their combined assets exceeding $1.5 billion, serve the people and businesses of this industrious community.