Small Businesses Severely Impacted by COVID-19 to Begin Receiving $5,000 Grants from Mayor Krewson’s CARES Act Relief Package

As early as today, small businesses in the City of St. Louis will begin receiving grants from Mayor Lyda Krewson’s federal CARES Act relief package

July 17, 2020 | 2 min reading time

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – As early as today, small businesses in the City of St. Louis that were severely impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic will begin receiving $5,000 grants from Mayor Lyda Krewson’s federal CARES Act relief package.

“As a result of the ‘Stay at Home’ orders that we put into place to help save lives, so many small businesses were forced to lay off workers and temporarily shut down. That made it extremely difficult for them to support themselves and make ends meet. I’m hopeful this will ease that burden and maybe even hire some people back,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson.

To date, St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) has approved more than 380 eligible small businesses to receive the one-time grants. They’re scheduled to begin being disbursed today as SLDC continues working with a selection committee to approve additional applications. In all, more than 1,400 applications were received for consideration. Mayor Krewson allocated $4 million in federal CARES Act funding for small business relief.

“Of course, as an ice cream shop, it should be our busy season, but we have closed our retail area. We are in a fairly small building. We don’t want people close together,” said Diane Lindsey, owner of Cups + Cones in Benton Park. “I will use the money to pay our workers who have been very supportive at this time. Our ongoing operating expenses will be paid through the year.”

“The grant money has allowed me and will continue to allow me to prepare ahead of time for the things and supplies we need: masks, aprons, hand sanitizer, and stocking up on food,” said Arrica Gilmore, owner of Juz Kidz Nursery & Preschool in the West End neighborhood. “At first, I panicked because my doors have never been shut before. As time went on, things fell into place.”

A minimum of 50% of the grants will be awarded to small businesses located within the City of St. Louis Promise Zone, an Opportunity Zone, or a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area. You can view a map of those areas here.

Among the requirements to be eligible, small businesses had to have a physical presence in the City of St. Louis with fewer than 25 employees and a current business license.

“While this grant is only $5,000, we are ecstatic to be able to provide these funds to help small and minority-owned businesses weather this economic crisis caused by the pandemic,” said Otis Williams, Executive Director of the St. Louis Development Corporation.

On May 29, Mayor Krewson announced a $64 million funding package through the CARES Act and other federal sources to address the health, humanitarian, and economic impacts of COVID-19 on more than 300,000 St. Louisans. Though the Board of Aldermen just passed this historic legislation on July 8, Mayor Krewson has been working intently across all departments to ensure the prompt delivery of this financial assistance to small businesses.

As part Mayor Lyda Krewson’s relief package, this week she announced the immediate availability of $3 million in utility assistance through a partnership with Cooldownstlouis.org and $5.4 million in rental and mortgage assistance.

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