At its February 21, 2022 meeting, the Galesburg City Council approved a package of economic development incentive programs designed to increase the number and success of minority and women owned businesses, increase business occupancy on the south side of the city and encourage urban agriculture. The first three programs created under this package, the southside occupancy assistance program, minority business start-up assistance program and minority business collateral assistance program, launched in April 2022.

The final program that was part of this package, the Urban Agriculture Pilot Program, is now finalized and ready to start taking applications. This program is designed to determine the viability of urban agriculture in Galesburg and applicants may request up to $25,000 per project. The funds can be used toward items such as equipment, tools, inventory and working capital. The City of Galesburg defines urban agriculture as growing, washing, packaging and storage of fruits, vegetables and other plant products for education, donation, wholesale, and retail sales. This is a permissible use in the following zoning districts: Agricultural, Institutional, General Business, Comprehensive Plan Development, Light Industrial, and Heavy Industrial. The zoning of a specific property can be determined by looking up the address on the city’s website by clicking here or by contacting the Community Development Department.

To be considered for this program, interested applicants should review the full program details and application posted on the city’s website. Applications are submitted to the City of Galesburg Community Development Department, reviewed by the Urban Agriculture Committee, and subject to City Council approval. Applicants can submit projects located on properties they own or lease within the City of Galesburg zoning districts listed above. Applicants can also propose projects located on the city owned lots illustrated in exhibits 1 and 2 of the application. The city will provide a $1 per year lease for five years on city owned lots approved for the urban agriculture pilot program. The application packet for the Urban Agriculture Pilot Program can be found on the city’s website by clicking here or picked up at the City of Galesburg Community Development Department, located on the second floor of City Hall, 55 W. Tompkins Street. 

For more information or questions regarding the program, please contact Eric Heiden at 309-345-3634 or eheiden@ci.galesburg.il.us.