Part of a monthlong series
The Great Recession has hit the industrial Midwest especially hard in recent years, from big cities to small factory towns. But now, in at least one small Illinois city, local leaders believe the worst is finally behind them.
Sitting across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, Granite City, Ill., has certainly seen better days. In its downtown, there are more boarded-up and empty storefronts and vacant lots than there are businesses.