Despite City's Economic Past, New Galesburg Business Expands - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Despite City's Economic Past, New Galesburg Business Expands

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President Obama will speak at Knox College in Galesburg on Wednesday about education and money for schools. But much of his speech will focus on the current economic outlook.

The City of Galesburg has had its own battles with a tough economy over the past several years -- numbers show the poverty is rate up, with employment down. But there are signs of revival.

Sitka Salmon Shares is a new business located in Galesburg's Sustainable Business Center. It's so popular, it's expanding.

"We have tripled our capacity so we need more freezer space," said Genevieve Crow, Sitka Salmon Shares. "We need more help to get everything packaged and out the door."

This is a very good problem to have when you're a growing business.

"We have more fish and more customers," said Crow.

The fish aren't local, but that's part of what makes this Midwest business so successful. Sitka Salmon Shares is a company founded by a Knox College professor, Nic Mink, who taught environmental studies. He took a trip to Sitka and that's where he became involved with Alaskan fisheries.

"So, they were able to bring their product here for consumers who might not have available that quality of seafood," said Crow.

The Galesburg company boasts consumer transparency -- if you buy the fish, you know everything about where it comes from, right down to the boat and the fisherman who caught it. That's part of the business model.

But the sustainable business center has been a big help, too.

"It's definitely been really helpful being at the Sustainable Business Center," said Crow, "because we're able to share a lot of things with other businesses."

Employees with Sitka Salmon Shares hope President Obama will make a surprise visit to the business on Wednesday --

"We'd definitely give the president a sample of our salmon," Crow said.

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