The City of Saint Paul has approved $3.5 million of federal CARES Act funding for the provision of economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency. For-profit live music venues and movie theaters are eligible for a grant of up to $25,000. These businesses rely on live performances and ticket sales and have received little COVID-19 emergency assistance. 

Additional grants are available for small business support organizations and food halls

Applications closed Wednesday, October 21 at 5 p.m. 

View Full 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. For a business with an Entertainment (A) or (B) License the following additional criteria will apply:
    • Pre-COVID, live music 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.
    • The venue has and can show evidence that they have permanent music infrastructure in place that includes a raised stage and a sound system 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.

Grants funds may be used to pay for the following eligible expenses incurred between March 1 and September 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


View Full Guidelines 

Applications closed Wednesday, October 21 at 5 p.m.  All applications meeting the eligibility criteria will receive a grant of up to $25,000 based on demonstrated lost revenue, eligible expenses, and the overall amount of eligible applications received.    

Last Edited: February 24, 2022