Small Business Support Organization COVID-19 Grants

The City of Saint Paul approved $3.5 million of federal CARES Act funding for the provision of economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency. Small business support organizations including business associations, chambers of commerce, and community development organizations that serve small businesses are eligible for a grant of up to $15,000. These organizations provide crucial support to the small business community. 

The City of Saint Paul has partnered with SPEDCO, a local, non-profit business finance organization, to administer the Small Business Support Organization COVID-19 grants. 

Additional grants administered by the City of Saint Paul are available for live music venues, movie theaters, and food halls

Applications are due Wednesday, October 21 at 5 p.m. 

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Eligibility

Organizations must: 

  • Provide technical assistance, training, commercial corridor marketing, and/or financial assistance to small businesses or be a membership-based business association or chamber of commerce.
  • Have served at least 25 Saint Paul small businesses over the past 12 months.
  • Provide evidence of revenue loss, increased operating costs, or other business interruption costs due to COVID-19 for the second quarter of 2020 (April 1 through June 30, 2020) in comparison to the second quarter of 2019 (April 1 through June 30, 2019). For organizations not yet in existence in the second quarter of 2019, use first three months of 2020 operations.
  • Maintain a brick and mortar office within Saint Paul city limits or exclusively serve businesses with brick and mortar locations within Saint Paul city limits.
  • Be a nonprofit organization in Good Standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State.

Grants can be used for: 

  • 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

Funding

  • Type: Grant
    • Maximum award: $15,000
      • Organizations with 2019 operating budgets more than $250,000 are eligible for a grant up to $15,000.
      • Organizations with 2019 operating budgets less than $250,000 are eligible for a grant up to $10,000.

Application

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Applications are due Wednesday, October 21 at 5 p.m. If there are more eligible applications than funding, eligible businesses will be selected at random for a grant. 

Applications are available at SPEDCO. The following are required to be submitted along with your application: 

  • Organizational IRS 990 for 2019 (or 2018, if 2019 not yet available)
  • Second quarter financials for 2020 and 2019 (or if not in yet in operation during the second quarter of 2019, the organization’s first three months of financials)
  • Proof of services provided to Saint Paul businesses (annual report, list of clients, etc.) that 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.
  • Budget of eligible expenses
  • IRS Form W-9