CLAYTON — St. Louis County will distribute $3 million in federal relief funds to restaurants and other small businesses affected by the pandemic, it announced on Thursday.
The $5,000 “Small Business Rapid Deployment Fund” grants can help pay operating expenses or business costs, including rent and payroll. Restaurants that have had to close their dining rooms to comply with public health orders can use them for equipment for outdoor dining, heaters, tents and curbside service.
The money is part of the county’s $173.5 million grant through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
St. Louis County’s public health order that took effect on Tuesday, in part, halts indoor dining and restricts bars and restaurants to takeout food, delivery and outside dining.
Rodney Crim, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, which will run the grant program, disclosed the aid program was in the works when he told the County Council about it on Tuesday.
To qualify, a business must have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and a physical presence in the county. Grants can only go to businesses significantly impacted by the pandemic for expenses and costs incurred between April 1 and Dec. 16. Businesses which already received a grant through the county’s small business relief program are not eligible.
Applications are open on Monday at 9 a.m. and close Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. Businesses and restaurants were encouraged to apply as early as possible. To apply, visit STLPartnership.com.
Gov. Mike Parson has kept up a busy travel schedule after convincingly winning a full, four-year term on Nov. 3.