Mayor Carter Invites Community Members to Support Families and Small Businesses Most Vulnerable to Economic Impacts of COVID-19 With Launch of a Saint Paul Bridge Fund Donation Website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
April 10, 2020  

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

Saint Paul, MN — Today, Mayor Carter announced the launch of a GiveMN donation website for community members to donate to the Saint Paul Bridge Fund to increase the number of families and small businesses that receive funds through the program.  

“Our neighbors are asking for help amid this public health crisis,” said Mayor Carter. “We’re inviting our community to contribute to help even more Saint Paul families and small businesses most vulnerable to the economic impacts of this pandemic.” 

ABOUT THE GIVEMN DONATION WEBSITE 
The City of Saint Paul launched applications for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund on Wednesday, April 9, and submissions will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. In the first 48 hours, more than 3,000 people applied for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund for Families, and more than 1,200 businesses applied for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund for Businesses.  

In response, a GiveMN donation website has been established at https://www.givemn.org/story/Kk597g by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation. This will allow community members to donate to the Saint Paul Bridge Fund to increase the total number of families and small businesses that receive funds.  

Donors will be given the option of adding GiveMN’s 6.9% administrative fee when they donate or have it taken out of their donation. GiveMN has also announced a 2% rebate on donations to the fund. All donated funds will be received by the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation. The Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation will grant donated funds to the City of Saint Paul’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund.  

ABOUT THE SAINT PAUL BRIDGE FUND APPLICATION PROCESS 
Saint Paul families and small businesses can submit applications online now through April 19, 2020, at 5 p.m.  All applications will be considered and reviewed, and no preference will be given based on when an application was received during the open application period of April 8 through April 19 at 5 p.m. All those eligible will be placed in a random selection process and will have an equal chance of receiving a grant.  

The City of Saint Paul is making grants available from the Bridge Fund in connection with a qualified disaster declaration in response to COVID-19. There is no cost to apply, and grants given to families and businesses will not need to be repaid. The grant application will not ask about immigration or documentation status, and immigration or documentation status will have no impact on eligibility. 

Individuals who have questions, need help to apply by phone, do not have access to the internet or need language interpretation in Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, and Karen can contact city staff for assistance by calling 651-266-6565, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. More information about Saint Paul Bridge Fund guidelines and applications can be found online at www.stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.     

ABOUT THE BRIDGE FUND FOR FAMILIES 
The Saint Paul Bridge Fund for families will provide $1,000 grants for immediate housing assistance. Eligible families will: 

  • Live in Saint Paul;  
  • Have incomes at or below 40% of area median income (or $40,000 annually for a family of four) before a COVID-19-related change in employment;  
  • Have at least one minor child in the household; and  
  • Have experienced a significant loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   
  • Are not currently receiving ongoing housing assistance such as Section 8 or Public Housing assistance. 

ABOUT THE BRIDGE FUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES 
The Saint Paul Bridge Fund for small businesses will provide $7,500 grants for immediate business expenses. Eligible businesses are defined as independent, for-profit businesses, which are retail-oriented and rely upon customer purchases for revenues. In addition, they must have:  

  • A physical location within Saint Paul, in operation for at least the last three months;  
  • Gross annual revenues of $2 million or less; and   
  • Have experienced a significant loss of revenue due to COVID-19.  

The small business grants may be used for immediate business expenses including but not limited to rent or mortgage payments, employee health benefits, employee leave expenses and payroll, and payments to suppliers.   

More information about the Saint Paul Bridge Fund eligibility can be found online at www.stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.  

ABOUT THE SAINT PAUL BRIDGE FUND 
The City of Saint Paul continues to work in close partnership with public health officials to respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The Mayor declared a State of Local Emergency on March 15 to ensure the City can mobilize the necessary resources to protect public health and safety. Mayor Carter presented the Saint Paul Bridge Fund to the Saint Paul City Council on March 25, and it was passed on April 1.  

The Saint Paul Bridge Fund is supported through Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority funds totaling $3.25 million. With the addition of support from the following philanthropic and economic partners, the fund stands to provide $3.961 million to families and small businesses in Saint Paul: 

  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation - $400,000 
  • Bush Foundation - $100,000 
  • Ecolab Foundation - $50,000 
  • Securian Foundation - $50,000 
  • Minnesota United FC - $25,000 
  • Minnesota Wild - $25,000 
  • Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation - $25,000 
  • Xcel Energy - $25,000 
  • Baird Foundation - $10,000 
  • Whaley Foundation - $1,000 

Learn more at www.stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.  

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