GALESBURG — The city of Galesburg and the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development helped create three new business incentive programs this year that have contributed to the launch of at least eight new businesses.
The incentive programs — the Southside Occupancy Assistance Program, the Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup Assistance Program and the Minority Business Collateral Program — were approved by Galesburg City Council on Feb. 21 and draw from $750,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding.
Mayor Peter Schwartzman said the programs came out of conversations with people in Galesburg and the goal to make the city’s government responsive to the community’s needs as “our city’s ‘boat’ rises when all parts of the city and all its members rise.”
“When they said we are lacking in this or that, in this case, businesses on the south side, economic development on the south side, we set out to remedy that,” Schwartzman said. “And not just with a bandaid, but I think a $750,000 investment over three years is a very significant one and we are starting to see the fruits of that.”
All of the businesses that submitted complete applications and went through the review process have so far been approved for funding from Galesburg City Council, Ken Springer, president of the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development wrote in an email.
In order to secure funding, applicants must provide the Knox County Area Partnership with a completed business plan, complete startup financials, proof that the business has been legally organized and proof that the business has a bank or credit union account.
Then, a volunteer committee of commercial lenders, business owners, and city staff members review the business plan and ask questions. Once reviewed, the committee makes a recommendation. Applications for the programs can be found on the city’s website. The grants are available until they expire in March 2024 or until funding runs out.
Schwartzman said he hopes the businesses that did receive funding this year motivate others to join the fold. Springer wrote there has been a “steady stream” of interest in these programs since they were created and it’s pretty safe to say ”there will be more applicants coming forward at a regular rate in 2023.
“From the standpoint of jump-starting entrepreneurial activity in Galesburg, these new programs have been a major positive,” Springer wrote. “So far, we’ve seen businesses ranging from adult mental health counseling to food processing to ethnic food to a selfie museum. I think that kind of variety is really cool.”
- Owner: Michelle Johnson
- Plans to open Jan. 1, 2023
- The studio will offer yoga classes and “aesthetic treatments” like spray tanning, with a plan to later add services like pilates and massage therapy, the endorsement from the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development said. The studio will be staffed by four to five instructors and operate five days per week.
- Johnson said the schedule is still being ironed out.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $5,000 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup grant and a $7,380 Southside Occupancy grant for the studio on Dec. 5, for a total of $12,380.
- Owners: Gorette Kupa and Yannick Kapita
- Kupa said the goal is to open the business by Dec. 24, but a definite opening date has not been set yet.
- The museum is a “destination-type activity” that offers spaces with various decorative themes and staged sets — some seasonal, some permanent — that people can rent for family photos, corporate events, or hourly admission to take fun photos with friends, the endorsement from the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development said. Kupa said the venue can fit up to 50 people for birthdays and the couple’s other business, Gyann Event, can create special decorations on request.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $10,000 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup grant for the museum on Dec. 5.
- Owner: Nikki Malley
- Plans to open in early 2023
- The shop specializes in canned jams, jellies, salsas, fruit butters, condiments and pickled vegetables with many flavors — like blueberry-raspberry brown sugar or strawberry margarita — that Malley said you can’t find anywhere else. The business began in the Galesburg Farmers Market in 2015 and will add a commercial-sized kitchen to the Seminary Street retail space.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $10,000 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup grant on Dec. 5.
Haynes Beauty, LLC, 1220 Mulberry St.
- Owner: Destiny Haynes
- The shop’s social media shows that slots have been open for bookings since Dec. 6.
- Hayne’s Beauty’s social media shows that Haynes is a licensed nail tech artist providing a “one stop shop” for hair, nails, makeup and lashes. The endorsement from the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development said the business’s primary line of focus is manicures and pedicures but plans to add other spa services in the future.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $5,000 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup grant and a $3,200 Southside Occupancy grant on Nov. 7, for a total of $8,200.
- Owner: Olympia ‘Opie’ Carter
- Opened Nov. 17
- The new restaurant and bar offers a wide menu of homemade food, a stocked bar, occasional live music, arcade games and gambling machines on the site of the former Fat Fish Pub. Carter’s menu includes vegetarian and rotating seasonal items, as well as a drink list with “a little bit of everything for everybody.”
- Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. every day but on Wednesdays. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $10,000 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup Assistance grant for the restaurant on Sept. 6
- Owner: Owner Mohammed Ben Youness and his wife Ghizlan
- Opened near the end of September.
- MBs Food Truck serves Moroccan food, primarily beef and chicken shish kabobs, beef and lamb gyros and cheeseburgers cooked over a charcoal grill. The Galesburg Commissary Kitchen in the former city armory serves as its home base.
- Open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and from 4-7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays near Galesburg’s Public Square. The truck may otherwise be found at local events, festivals or alongside bars.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $7,500 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup Assistance grant for MB’s Food Truck on Sept. 6.
- Owners: Alyssa Vancil and her husband Dillan
- Opened its Galesburg location in the spring. The couple opened their first location in Monmouth in February.
- Dame Fine Coffee is a single-window drive-through operation that offers pre-ordering and pickup orders with a variety of coffee and other energy drinks.
- Open 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $10,000 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup Assistance grant, $10,000 Southside Occupancy grant and $25,000 Business Collateral Assistance grant on Aug. 1, for a total of $45,000.
- Owner: Amanda Powell
- Opened July 1
- A licensed clinical social worker, Powell’s private practice offers psychotherapy for older adults. She specializes in depression, anxiety, grief and adjustment disorder and accepts regular Medicare B insurance along with private pay. She currently has openings for new patients.
- Open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the Weinberg Arcade.
- Galesburg City Council approved a $5,000 Minority/Woman-Owned Business Startup grant for Powell on May 2.