New restaurant opening in Peru; flower shop closing in Oglesby; pet shop on the move in Streator; farmers market offers online option in Ladd; and Bureau County favorite ceases retail distribution

Cities across the Illinois Valley are having a banner year in retail sales and, yes, it’s partly a bounce-back after infection controls kept shoppers and visitors home much of 2020. But the totals have climbed well past what city officials saw coming. They think the records are busting because cities now get a slice of online sales, too.

The Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development added 28 new members and boasted a membership retention rate of 92%, besting the national average of 87%.