Mayor Carter Announces New Grant Support for Small Businesses and Cultural Organizations Impacted by COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2020

CONTACT:
Peter Leggett
peter.leggett@ci.stpaul.mn.us
651-307-8603

SAINT PAUL, MN - Today, Mayor Carter announced new grant support for small businesses and cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19. As part of the City of Saint Paul’s $23.5 million in federal CARES Act funding, $3.5 million will be available through grant supports led by the City’s Department of Planning and Economic Development to provide:

  • Three new grant opportunities targeted to:
    • Live music venues and movie theaters
    • Food halls
    • Small business support organizations that provide technical assistance, training, commercial corridor marketing, and/or financial assistance to small businesses or that are a membership-based business association or chamber of commerce
  • Additional funding for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations who applied to the fall 2020 round of Cultural STAR.
  • Additional grants to previous Saint Paul Bridge Fund applicants who did not receive a grant.

“The many needs of our community persist as we continue to endure this pandemic economy,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “This emergency relief helps ensure our small businesses and cultural organizations can continue to weather the challenges all of us face.”

“Businesses and cultural organizations need the flexibility to make their own decisions about what comes next,” said City Council President Amy Brendmoen. “These grants will relieve some economic pressures and allow time to plan.”

“This new funding is another resource the City has been able to quickly deploy to serve the immediate needs of our small business and cultural community.” said Department of Planning and Economic Director Nicolle Goodman. “We will continue working diligently on new opportunities as needs evolve.”

ABOUT NEW GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Live Music Venue and Movie Theater Grant Program
Live music venues and movie theaters can apply for one-time grants of up to $25,000 to reimburse the costs of business interruption due to COVID-19 related business closures and/or decreased customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.  The size of the grant will be based on demonstrated lost revenue, eligible expenses, and the overall amount of eligible applications received.

Applications are open now through Wednesday, October 21 at 5:00 pm. More information on eligibility criteria, grant process and the grant application are available at stpaul.gov/covid19-musicmovie. Businesses with questions regarding the application or guidelines, or who want help applying can call 651-266-6565.

Food Hall Grant Program
Food halls can apply for one-time grants of $25,000 to $250,000 to reimburse for eligible business expenses such as debt payments, limited utilities already paid, payroll, accounts payable, or other operating expenses.  The size of the grant will be based on demonstrated lost rental income, eligible expenses, and the overall amount of eligible applications received.  For purposes of this program, “lost rental income” means rent not collected as compared to normal operations before the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Applications are open now through Wednesday, October 21 at 5:00 pm. More information on eligibility criteria, grant process and the grant application are available at stpaul.gov/covid19-food. Businesses with questions regarding the application or guidelines, or who want help applying can call 651-266-6565.

Small Business Support Organizations Grant Program
Small business support organizations that provide technical assistance, training, commercial corridor marketing, and/or financial assistance to small businesses or that are a membership-based business association or chamber of commerce can apply for one-time grants of up to $15,000 for eligible business expenses. The City of Saint Paul is partnering with SPEDCO, a nonprofit economic development organization, on this program who will serve as the grant administrator.

Applications are open now through Wednesday, October 21 at 5:00 pm. More information on eligibility criteria, grant process and the grant application are available at stpaul.gov/covid19-org. Businesses with questions regarding the application or guidelines, or who want help applying can call SPEDCO at 651-631-4900.

ABOUT ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR CULTURAL STAR APPLICANT ORGANIZATIONS
Saint Paul-based nonprofit arts and cultural organizations who applied to the fall 2020 application period will be eligible to receive one-time emergency relief. CARES Act funding will be added to the current Cultural STAR budget, allowing for more and/or larger grant awards to applicant organizations.

Eligible applications received during the fall 2020 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 will be notified later this fall if they have been awarded funds.

ABOUT ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR PREVIOUS SAINT PAUL BRIDGE FUND SMALL BUSINESS APPLICANTS
In April 2020, the Saint Paul Bridge Fund received more than 2,000 small businesses applicants. With available funding, 380 small businesses were awarded a one-time $7,500 grant. CARES Act funding will provide additional grants to some previous eligible applicants who did not receive a grant. Awardees will be selected based on 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.

More information on these new grant supports, including application information is available at stpaul.gov/COVID19-grants.

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