Several funding options are available via the STL Partnership.
The Small Business Resource Fund Program
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the St. Louis Development Corporation, The St. Louis County Port Authority, and a coalition of 10 St. Louis banks are offering a zero-loan program* for small businesses in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County.
Banks who joined the Partnership and SLDC to provide support to small businesses include: Busey Bank, Commerce Bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust, First Bank, Royal Banks of Missouri, UMB Bank, Central Bank of St. Louis, St. Louis Bank, Carrollton Bank, and Simmons Bank.
Businesses are eligible to apply for loans of up to $5,000 for working capital. Any for-profit business in the city of St. Louis or St. Louis County that has sustained economic damage due to the COVID-19 crisis may apply. To obtain a zero-interest loan, businesses must be current on all taxes through 2018, be in good standing with state and local governments, and have been in business for at least one year. Applicants must demonstrate that their company’s jobs are threatened by the health crisis, and they must explain how the loan would retain those jobs. Financial institutions and lenders are not eligible.
For more question about this loan, please email [email protected].
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*Funds Subject to Availability.
Small Business Resource Discretionary Grant Program
The St. Louis County Port Authority is sponsoring the Small Business Resource Discretionary Grant Program through the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. This new St. Louis County program will give $500 discretionary grants to help sole proprietors, contract workers, gig workers, 1099 workers, and other businesses who do not qualify for our Small Business Resource Program (SBRP).
The grant program is only available to businesses in St. Louis County and has a preference for businesses in distressed areas in the Promise Zone area in North County and Lemay in South County to help businesses lessen the burden of paying for rent or even for groceries to help them get through this crisis.
Qualifying businesses include:
- Sole proprietors
- Independent Contractors
- 1099 Contractors
- LLC Entities with Revenue under $1 million
- Businesses in operation for at least six months -October 2019
- In good standing with SOS
- Current on personal and business taxes
- Preference given to businesses operating in the St. Louis County portion of the Promise Zone and Lemay
Sample business types included but not limited to gig workers, artist, therapist, hairstylist, and other service-oriented businesses.
The Neighborhood Small Business Lift Grant – (Deadline has closed for applications)
The Neighborhood Small Business Lift grant is available for neighborhood-serving small businesses to maintain staff, facilities and other essential costs. Grantees may also use funds to adapt to remote operations where possible. Award amount is determined by the monthly operating expenses of each business.
The fund focuses on areas that are most vulnerable to economic, social and service delivery setbacks exacerbated by COVID-19. Neighborhoods and areas in St. Louis County, St. Louis City and East St. Louis are being prioritized for Neighborhood Solidarity funding based on socioeconomic indicators including race and household economics. You can view eligible neighborhoods using the Neighborhood Solidarity Fund Focus Area Map.
Update: We are humbled that within 24 hours we received more than 100 applications. In the pursuit of an equitable funding process, we are establishing a deadline for receiving applications and will delay funding decisions until after that time. All applications for the Small Business Lift grant must be received by 11:59 PM CST on Friday, May 1, 2020. After the closing, we will evaluate all applications and prioritize grant awards based on a set of criteria that are currently under development. We will share the criteria in the FAQ by Monday, April 27th. Each applicant will be notified of their award status by May 11th. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to adapt our processes. We know that the need to support small businesses is immense and well beyond the limits of our funding capacity. With limited funds available, we want to make our best effort to support businesses that stand to benefit the most from this grant while balancing our primary focus on the strengthening of neighborhood systems.
If you are unable to complete the application using the web-based form, please email [email protected] to discuss alternate methods of completing the application.