GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) – Galesburg City Council unanimously voted on new programs to bring businesses to the city on Monday.
The four new programs will receive $ 250,000 from the city’s U.S. Rescue Planning Act funds each year for the next three years.
Ken Springer, president of the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development, said the council wanted to attract different businesses as well as revitalize the south side.
“We really want to see new businesses formed. We think there’s a lot of entrepreneurial potential in that community,” Springer said. “Really, there was no existing … program designed to target … these business owner groups. “
Two of these programs, the Minority Business Collateral Assistance Program and the Minority Business Startup Assistance Program, are designed to attract new minority-owned businesses. The Urban Ag Pilot Program hopes to invest in urban agriculture in the city.
The fourth, the Southside Occupancy Assistance Program, provides rental assistance to bring more businesses to the southern part of the city.
A business manager said that side of town could really use the help.
“It’s a kind of revolving door with companies down here,” said Kevin McGee, sales manager at Dave’s Auto Body.
The body shop has serviced cars on Grand Ave. for over 30 years.
“As far as any business really has taken a strong firm hold in this neighborhood – not really,” McGee said. “I’m not sure why that is because this … lane in front gets a lot of traffic.”
Springer said he hopes companies can benefit from these programs.
“It’s a kind of balancing act between making programs that are broadly based enough where they can be used, but also narrow enough for us to be good managers of taxpayers’ money,” Springer said.
McGee was pleased that the city is trying to bring more businesses to the south side.
“You can tell this here as a depressed area of the city,” “Hopefully the news you know, like, bringing restaurants … good restaurants and stuff in would … help the neighborhood clean up.”
In total, the city of Galesburg received $ 3.73 million from the ARPA passed by Congress in March last year.
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