Small Business Grant Fund FAQ
Answers to common questions about the Small Business Grant Fund Program
Who is eligible for this program?
This program is for small businesses located in the City of St. Louis. To be eligible, your business must meet all the following criteria:
- 25 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
- Primary place of business must be located in the City of St. Louis. Small businesses are presumed disproportionately impacted by the pandemic if they are operating in a HUD Qualified Census Tract within the City limits. Please visit the link below to determine whether or not you are in a HUD Qualified Census Tract
- Must have been adversely impacted as a result of COVID-19
- Owners do not have a conflict of interest (no City employees or immediate family)
- Does not discriminate per City of St. Louis ordinances
- Must have and maintain an active City of St. Louis Business License at time of application and receipt of grant funds
- Cannot be barred from receiving federal funds
- Must be current on all City taxes
What documents do I need to apply for the grant?
Complete and accurate copies of the following documents are required to apply:
- A signed copy of your W-9
- A copy of your current Business License
- An approved CBI form signed by the License Collector's Office and Collector of Revenue Office
- Bank or income Statements demonstrating adverse economic impact resulting from Covid-19. Evidence of a reduction in gross receipts from 2019 to 2021 will also suffice to demonstrate adverse economic impact.
How much money will grant recipients receive?
Each entity that is approved to receive funding and signs the grant agreement, will receive the requested amount up to $5,000.
How many businesses will receive grants?
This program will serve approximately 900 businesses who will receive grants of $5,000 each. Please note, the application portal will close once we reach 1,100 applications due to the limited amount of funding.
When will the application form close?
Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Applicants are highly encouraged to apply by April 22nd. We will close the application portal when we receive 1,100 applications.
How will I receive my payment?
Grant recipients must sign a grant agreement via DocuSign. Grants will be awarded via ACH direct deposit.
When can I expect to hear back on my application?
Completed applications will be reviewed in three stages.
Applicants will receive a confirmation email when their application is received. Applications will be reviewed to ensure basic eligibility and completeness. If applications are incomplete, applicants will be notified via email and will have to resubmit a new application with all the required documentation.
Applications will be assessed to determine if it meets the criteria for approval. If approved, applicants will receive an email with information on how to complete the final grant agreement. If not approved, the applicant will receive a rejection email.
Approved applicants must sign a final grant agreement via DocuSign in order to receive their funding.
We anticipate that the entire approval process will take approximately 60 days. If applicants have not heard about their acceptance or rejection within 60 days, they should email email@example.com. Once SLDC receives the completed grant agreement, the funds will be sent by direct deposit within 10 business days. No payments can be processed without a completed grant agreement.
Who can I connect with if I have questions related to my application or application status?
All inquiries should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, however, please allow 60 days from application date to reach out.
If I submitted an application, and was rejected for missing materials or delinquencies, what do I do next?
If you did not have the correct documents, please secure the correct documentation and return to the grant application and apply again. If your application is rejected because of missing information, materials, or a non-current business license, you will need to apply again after resolving any outstanding issues. You are strongly encouraged to contact the Collector of Revenue and the License Collector’s Office if you are not sure about your business license standing or tax information. Below is the contact information for the both offices.
City Hall1200 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63103Phone: 314 622-4111
Fax: 314 622-4413
If my business is permanently closed, am I still eligible to apply for this grant?
No, businesses that are permanently closed are not eligible for this grant.
If I have received previous rounds of federal funding through CARES, am I eligible to apply?
If you received a grant in the previous round through CARES funding, you are eligible to apply for a grant in this round for the same business location, however, priority will be given to first time applicants. You can check if you received CARES Act funding here.
If I received PPP funding or EIDL funding am I eligible?
If you received PPP funding or EIDL funding, then you are eligible to apply for this grant, however, priority will be given to first time applicants and those who haven't received PPP or EIDL funding.
What should I do if I do not have a current business license?
When you apply for the grant, you will need to have your Business License number and a copy of your current Business License and a cleared CBI form. It is required. If you have multiple business licenses, ANY ONE of the license numbers is sufficient. The license should be active and you must have and maintain an active license to be eligible to receive funds if awarded. If you are unsure of the status of your business license, please contact the License Collector’s office.
Do I have to be the owner of the business to fill out the application?
No. However, the individual completing the application must have signatory authority for the business. The owner must sign the grant agreement prior to funds being disbursed.
What taxes must I be current on to qualify for this program?
All business taxes relative to your business and/or industry, including but not limited to earnings tax, your personal property taxes, and state taxes.
How do I know if I am in a HUD Qualified Census Tract?
Please use the link below to verify if your business is located in a HUD Qualified Census Tract.
What are acceptable uses for the grant funding?
According to US Treasury guidelines, acceptable uses for the grant funding include the following:
- Mortgage Interest
- COVID-19 Supplies
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Cleaning Interior/Exterior to Sanitize Facility
- Can I mail in my application?
Mail-In applications will be accepted but are not encouraged, online and drop-off applications are preferred. Due to the limited nature of the funds, grants are administered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
St. Louis Development Corporation
Attn: Small Business Grant Team
1520 Market Street, Suite 2000
St. Louis MO 63103-2630
If submitting your application via mail please submit all the following documents:
A signed copy of your W-9
A copy of your current Business License
An approved CBI form signed by the License Collector’s Office and Collector of Revenue Office
Bank or income Statements demonstrating adverse economic impact resulting from Covid-19. Evidence of a reduction in gross receipts from 2019 to 2021 will also suffice to demonstrate adverse economic impact.
Completed and signed waiver - attach waiver here
- Are non-profit organizations able to apply?
Non-profit organizations are able to apply if they meet the eligibility requirements and submit the required documentation
How long does a business have to use the funds?
Businesses have a year from the receipt of funds to spend the funding.
Can funds only be used for expenses going forward or can it also be used for funds already incurred?
Funds can be used on costs incurred but not those that were previously reimbursed through other federal funding sources.
Can a business that closed because of Covid but still has an active license, apply and/or receive funds if they still have business expenses?
If the business is closed and is no longer operational, they do not qualify. If they closed the brick and mortar location, but are still operating they can apply.
If the business owner has more than one business, can they apply for all business locations?
We are allowing the owner to apply with all business locations that meet the eligibility requirements, however, please note only one business will be funded.
If I applied for ARPA funds through another agency, can I also apply for (and receive) funds through this program?
What is the process for getting an approved CBI form?
A CBI form is a tax clearance form we use with the city to verify your business status and taxes paid. A downloadable form is located on our website: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/sldc/sbgf/index.cfm. The form must be signed and approved by the Collector of Revenue’s Office AND the License Collector’s Office.
My business is located in a QCT but not in the City of St. Louis, why am I not eligible to apply?
While these funds are targeted towards businesses located in QCT areas, under the eligibility requirements for this program, the primary place of business must be located in the City of St. Louis.
When would the business have to have been started?
Your business must have had an active business license prior to December 31, 2021 to qualify for this program.
I am a rental property owner, am I eligible to apply for this grant program?
No, while you are not a real estate agent, your business would fall under the same industry.
My business is listed on the “not eligible to apply list”, why is that?
This program aims to target the industries that have been deemed most adversely impacted by COVID-19.
My business services the City but is based in the County, am I eligible for this grant program?
The business must be owned and operated in the city.
Does the 25 employee limit count towards part-time employees?
A business that has more than 25 full-time equivalent employees are ineligible to apply. Part-time employees are excluded from the 25 employee limit.
Can I submit my application and/or required documents to the email address on your website?
No, we are not accepting applications via email. Beginning April 14th, you are welcome to apply through our online portal or drop off printed and completed documents during drop-off times. Additional information on how to apply can be found on our website at the following link: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/sldc/sbgf/index.cfm
How do I get a printable copy of my application?
We are working on a process for providing this information to applicants after they have been approved for grant funding.