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The Board of Directors for P.R.O.U.D recently announced the imminent closing of its Illinois Marketplace Store located at 213 N. Mill Street. The Board made the decision to close the store since the lease expires at the end of the month and it was concluded that it was no longer financially feasible to continue the store. Also it became increasingly difficult to find volunteers to work at the store, thus leading to irregular hours of operation. Although the store has run its course, it has served its original purpose of promoting a maximum occupancy downtown. Today the downtown storefronts are close to 100 per cent occupied.Executive Director of P.R.O.U.D., Jessica Finkenbinder, stated she wants to make it clear that only the store is closing not P.R.O.U.D. itself, which remains committed to serving the downtown community. “The closing of the store will free us up to devote all our time and energies to our original mission—promoting a vibrant downtown Pontiac.”Through the end of December the Illinois Marketplace will be open regular hours with all P.R.O.U.D. items marked down 50%. The Store will close December 30. P.R.O.U.D. will relocate its office after the first of the year.