City of St. Louis, St. Louis Development Corporation Release Eligibility Criteria for Small Business Assistance Grant Fund

The program will serve about 900 businesses with $5,000 grants each. The online application opens April 14th and in-person events begin April 4th.

March 29, 2022 | 2 min reading time

Today, the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) released eligibility criteria for small businesses relief allocated under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This program will serve approximately 900 businesses that will receive $5,000 grants each. Paper and electronic applications will be accepted, with the online application portal opening on April 14th at 8:00 AM and in-person application events beginning April 4th.

“As a former small business owner, I know how challenging running a business can be, and the pandemic has made the chances for success become even more difficult,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “St. Louis can not move forward from the pandemic if we leave our entrepreneurs and small business owners behind. This fund is just one of the creative ways I’m using ARPA dollars to support them.“

As small businesses continue to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19, pandemic, the grants can be used to cover critical operating costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, obtain PPE, and secure inventory. Ahead of the online portal launch date, business owners are encouraged to gather the required documents necessary for the application, including a current W-9, a current business license, and bank statements demonstrating an adverse economic impact resulting from COVID-19.

“Small businesses are at the center of building a more resilient and vibrant economy in response to COVID-19,” said Neal Richardson, SLDC Executive Director. “These grant dollars will provide business owners with the ability to support their employees, better serve their customers and contribute to the economic growth of the neighborhoods in which they operate.”

Applicants must own a business located in the City of St. Louis, have 25 or fewer employees, be current on all city taxes, demonstrate COVID-19 hardship, and owners must have and maintain an active City of St. Louis Business License at the time of application and receipt of grant funds. No City employees nor members of their immediate family can apply for funding. A full list of eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions can be found on the City website.

SLDC will host a virtual town hall on Thursday, March 31 from 5:30-6:30 P.M. outlining the application process and will answer questions from the public. The webinar link is also on the city’s website.

Applicants can drop off completed paper applications on April 14th, 15th, 18th, and 19th at the SLDC Office located at 1520 Market St. during the hours of 9:30 AM–3:00 PM.

There will be two in-person application events for business owners without access to a computer. These events will be limited to the first 120 participants. Events will be held on April 4th at The Central Library, 1301 Olive St., 63103 from 9:30 A.M–3 P.M. and April 6th at The Youth and Family Center, 818 Cass Ave, 63106 from 9:30 A.M–3 P.M. 

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