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|City Praises Small Business; Mayor Says They're Key to Economic Recovery
|A program implemented by the Galesburg City Council is already paying big dividends.
While some already have been known about, the city formally introduced the four winners of the city's first Business Innovation Grants Wednesday morning. Aldermen in February approved $50,000 for the grant program, and roughly half of that money has already been awarded.
Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza, who says the program is extremely important to him, told the winners there may be a recession now, but it will be people like them that takes the area out of it.
"The economy will come back, but it's not going to come back just by itself," Garza told the small businesspeople. "It needs good people like yourselves, with your strong backs, and your will to do the very difficult things that a business owner finds itself doing."
The winners included Ben Stomberg, who used the money to open up Stone Alley Books and Collectibles on Seminary Street, a Galesburg couple that will be opening up a old-fashioned candy and soda shop on Seminary Street November sixth; Linda Lewis, inventor of an accessory that can turn a typical water bottle into a baby bottle in emergency situations, and George Reynolds of Altona, who is developing a transmission system that is more environmentally friendly.
The city is working with the Carl Sandburg College Business and Technology Center and the Galesburg Entrepreneurship Center in order to evaluate the grant applications and pick winners.
(Business Innovation Grant Winners were honored Wednesday by the City of Galesburg. LEFT TO RIGHT: Dane Bragg, City Manager; Mayor Sal Garza; Ben Stomberg, owner of Stone Alley Books and Collectibles; Cat Garza, manager of the Western Illinois Entrepreneurship Center; Pat Reed of Sweets Candy and Soda Shop; Paul Johnson of the Business Innovation Grant Advisory Board; Sherry Reed of Sweets Candy and Soda Shop; Paul Reynolds of Knox Engineering Co.; George Reynolds of Knox Engineering Co.; Jeff Kohl of the Business Innovation Grant Advisory Board; Linda Lewis, inventor of the "Flipple".; Cesar Suarez, Galesburg Economic Development Director; Pat Nusbaum, vice chairman of the Business and Technology Center; and Sherry Foster, director of the Business and Technology Center. WGIL News Story and Photo by Will Stevenson.)
|10 22 09 by Newsroom
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