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South Grand business owners offered loans to repair damages

South Grand business owners offered loans to repair damages

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Officials will make loans to owners of South Grand Boulevard businesses rioters attacked after a grand jury did not indict a police officer in the Michael Brown slaying.

The low-interest loans will come from Recovery St. Louis, an extension of the Small Business Relief Program set up for Ferguson businesses damaged by rioters there in August, St. Louis officials said today.

Eligible for damage-repair loans are St. Louis businesses on South Grand between Interstate 44 and Gravois Avenue. Loan applications are available through the South Grand Business Association.

Rioters damaged more than 20 South Grand businesses Monday night. Police Chief Sam Dotson said today criminals used the cover of organized protests to smash windows and steal from businesses.

Among businesses damaged were St. Louis Bread Co., FedEx, Rooster, a U.S. Post Office, AT&T, Qdoba, King and I, and the International Market. Police made 21 arrests. Charges included property damage, burglary and knowingly burning. Some suspects carried guns, police said.

Protests and rioting began after the announcement that a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Brown on Aug. 9.

South Grand businesses damaged are in the Tower Grove South neighborhood, which is near the Shaw neighborhood, scene of a fatal police shooting in October.

The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership is managing the Small Business Relief Program. Funding sources are the Missouri Development Finance Board, St. Louis Regional Chamber, Carrollton Bank, Commerce Bank of St. Louis, Enterprise Bank and Trust, First Bank, First National Bank of St. Louis, Midwest Bankcentre, Pulaski Bank and UMB Bank.

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Tim Bryant is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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