City Council passes guideline changes for 2018 Neighborhood STAR Program

Over $2.8 million in loans and grants available for capital improvement projects


SAINT PAUL – Saint Paul City Council has approved guidelines changes to the Neighborhood Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) Program aimed at encouraging small, for-profit business participation; addressing vacant buildings and storefronts; and making it easier for entities to work with STAR funds and processes.

The changes allow small for-profit businesses to apply for 100% grant funding; provide priority to proposals filling vacant commercial storefront space within the city; and eliminate the need for matching dollars on the first $50,000 of a loan request. Larger for-profit entities remain eligible to apply for a loan or loan/grant combination. Grant requests still require a $1 to $1 match with non-city resources.

“These important changes adopted by the City Council were initiated by the Neighborhood STAR Board and Planning and Economic Development staff. It sends a very clear message that the City is working together to grow small businesses,” said Planning and Economic Development Director Dr. Bruce Corrie. “I encourage all to apply for this program to help foster progress in our city.”

An informational workshop about the Neighborhood STAR Program and application process will be held on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Midwest Special Services, Inc., 900 Ocean Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106. Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak with City staff about other housing and economic development funding programs and the Right Track youth internship program.

Applications will open on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 11:30 am and be accepted through Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at 4 p.m. Over $2.8 million will be available in loans and grants for capital (bricks and mortar) improvement projects in Saint Paul neighborhoods that further economic, commercial or residential development. Proposals must be completed online using a user-friendly ZoomGrants application form. After a complete review, funding decisions will be announced in July 2018.

Program guidelines will be available at the workshop and online at

NOTE: While individual homeowner projects do not qualify for Neighborhood STAR funding, proposals to administer housing programs are eligible. For information on a variety of individual housing programs available through the City of Saint Paul’s Housing Division, call 651-266-6655.