Small Business and Cultural Org 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. Planning and Economic Development staff have opened three new grant opportunities for small business support organizations, live music venues, movie theaters and food halls in addition to providing additional funding for the 2020 Cultural STAR program and Saint Paul Bridge Fund for Businesses.

Small Business Support Organization COVID-19 Grants

Small business support organizations including business associations, chambers of commerce and community development organizations that serve small businesses can apply for a grant of up to $15,000 to use for the following 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

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.

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

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Music Venue and Movie Theater COVID-19 Grants

Live music venues and movie theaters can apply for a grant of up to $25,000 to use 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)

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

Learn More Apply Now


Food Hall COVID-19 Grants

Food halls can apply for a grant of up to $250,000 to use 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)

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

Learn More Apply Now


2020 Cultural STAR

The 2020 Cultural STAR program will provide one-time emergency relief to Saint Paul-based arts or cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19.  CARES Act funding will be added to the current Cultural STAR budget, allowing for more and/or larger grant awards. 

Eligible applications received during the October application period will be reviewed for eligibility by Planning and Economic Development staff and recommended by the Cultural STAR board for Mayor Carter’s approval. All applicants should be notified within the next month of their award status. 

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Saint Paul Bridge Fund

The Saint Paul Bridge Fund provided 380 of 2,000 small business applicants with $7,500 in emergency assistance in May. CARES Act funding will provide additional grants to some eligible applicants who did not receive an award earlier this year due to limited funds. 

Awardees will be selected based on the availability of funds in the random order assigned to all Bridge Fund applicants in spring 2020. Program administrators will verify eligibility, and business applicants for Bridge Fund grants will be notified within the next month of any award. 

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