More than just a physical space, the McHenry Riverwalk Shoppes is a retail incubator program created to provide a low-risk, high-support environment for small businesses and emerging brands.
Through strategic partnerships, we include Chamber membership, educational workshops, mentoring, marketing assistance, and more for selected vendors. We believe these wrap-around services during the retail incubation are essential for sustained success.
This controlled environment allows for businesses to test out brick and mortar retail, expand their network, develop their business acumen, and gain exposure.
The program is open to:
- Startups who want to try out a concept
- Online or home-based businesses who want to test out brick and mortar retail
- Existing businesses in other communities who are considering a secondary location and want to test the McHenry market
Do you have a business plan? The Small Business Development Center can help you create one for free.
We are excited to select our vendors to participate in our 2024 season.
10 buildings are available in 2 sizes (12×12 an 12×16).
To apply, use the Vendor Application link above. You will be directed to a Google Form. You must have a Google account in order to complete the form. If you don’t have one already, you can create your free account by clicking here. After you fill out the application, you will receive an email with a secure link to pay your non-refundable $50 application fee. Your business WILL NOT be considered unless we have received both the completed application and your application fee.
Using a scoring rubric, an independent jury will select the top candidates for the 10 available buildings. Businesses will be graded on their concept, viability, marketing and business plans, diversity of offering, and interest in moving into a brick-and-mortar location in the future. A final interview will be conducted to make sure the business owners understand the participation requirements.
Applications will be accepted through November 1, 2023. Final incubator participant selections will be completed before the end of the year. Educational workshops and other preparations for the 2024 season will begin in January 2024. The Shoppes will officially open in May 3, 2024 and continue through the end of December.
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2023 SEASON.
Applications for the 2024 season will be available in August.
No refunds for vendor cancellations will be given. Vendors may not sublet their location to another vendor. Vendors who do so will forfeit their lease and will not receive a refund. Only vendors listed and approved on the original agreement will be allowed.
All businesses/vendors are required to have a business EIN as well as pay sales tax to the City of McHenry and State of Illinois.
Two sizes of buildings are available. Please indicate your first choice in your application. Although we will do our best to pair you with the size you request, we cannot guarantee placement.
12 x 12 shop is $4000 for the 2024 season (May-December).
12 x 16 shop is $4750 for the 2024 season (May-December).
McHenry Riverwalk Shoppes will be open May 3 – December 29, 2024.
Minimum Required Hours
***Please note the dates and times below are the minimum requirements. Vendors may stay open longer than the times listed. Monday through Thursday hours are optional.
Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 4 pm
These days and hours are MANDATED. Please consider who can cover your shop if you cannot be there.
1202 Riverside Drive, McHenry
Riverside Drive and Route 120
NO. OF RETAILERS
10 on site
CITY OF MCHENRY POPULATION
TRADE AREA POPULATION
TRADE AREA HOUSEHOLDS
AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME