In December, the City of Saint Paul approved additional funding to expand grants to live entertainment venues not eligible for Music Venue and Movie Theater COVID-19 grants. Live entertainment venues are eligible for a grant of up to $25,000.

Eligible venues include those who provide live performances besides music such as:

  • Theater
  • Cabaret
  • Spoken word
  • Dance
  • Drag
  • Circus

Karaoke and other forms of performance by audience members does not count as live entertainment for purposes of this program.

Applications closed Friday, January 8 at 5 p.m.

 Download Program Guidelines


Businesses must: 

  • Be a for-profit business, with a venue located within Saint Paul city limits with a maximum fire capacity of 3,000 or less, and open to the General Public.
  • Be currently operating or able to open for operation if circumstances allowed (i.e. still control the physical space).
  • Have opened prior to December 1, 2019.
  • Possess a license with the City of Saint Paul for one of the following: Entertainment (A) or (B) licenses, Theater and Movie Theater licenses, and Liquor On-Sale - Theater licenses. (See full guidelines for more detail on these licenses) For a business with an Entertainment (A) or (B) License the following additional criteria will apply:
    • Pre-COVID, live entertainment was presented by performers an average of three times per week. Frequency of events will be measured based on 2019 calendar of events or comparable pre-COVID consecutive period if not open for all of 2019. Live entertainment is performed by individuals in front of an audience, and examples include live music, theater, cabaret, spoken word, dance, drag, and circus performance.  Karaoke and other forms of performance by audience members does not count as live entertainment for purposes of this program.
    • The venue has and can show evidence that they have permanent entertainment infrastructure in place that includes at least two of the following: a raised stage; a professional sound system; and/or lighting for performances.
  • Have experienced business interruption due to COVID-19 related business closures or were affected by decreased customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, resulting in a loss of revenue for the business.
  • Detail how the business operations have been impacted by the COVID -19 public health emergency.
  • Detail how the business would plan to use a $25,000 grant to pay for eligible costs.
  • Indicate if the business received a $7,500 grant from the Saint Paul Bridge Fund for Small Businesses and detail any amounts of CARES Act funding that has previously been received by the business, including Ramsey County’s Small Business Relief Fund or Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) grants using CARES Act funds. The business will also be required to attest that they HAVE NOT utilized any of the above funding to cover the same expenditures identified for the use of this venue support grant.
  • Not have received a grant from the City of Saint Paul’s Live Music Venue and Movie Theatre Support Grant Program.

Grants funds may be used to pay for the following eligible expenses incurred between March 1 and November 30, 2020:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Limited utilities (gas, electricity, telephone, business internet/cable, recycling, and security systems) already paid
  • Payroll
  • Earned sick and safe time relief to employees
  • Other eligible operating expenses (including insurance, marketing, supplies, inventory, security, maintenance, and cleaning) 


  • Type: Grant

    • Maximum award: $25,000


Applications closed Friday, January 8 at 5 p.m.

 Download Program Guidelines


Last Edited: March 28, 2021