St. Louis Co. distributing grants to help small businesses during COVID-19

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“When you think of businesses being forced to have their doors shut and then once they reopen they have all these extra expenses to prepare to keep employees and customers safe, these are very challenging times for everybody,” said Matthew Johnson, the director of planning and community development for St. Louis County.

The small business assistance provides emergency grant assistance of up to $50,000 to businesses and non-profits with 100 or fewer employees for COVID-19 related expenses.

“We were able to purchase additional PPE for our staff and for community members that are entering our business. It was helpful for being able to buy signage and to just really make sure that people are understanding how to operate within our facility safely,” said Heitmiller.

Wild State Cider received $4,500 through this grant. Staff said itt has been helpful. They’ve invested in plexiglass, face masks, hand sanitizer, and more.

There’s also funding available for community assistance to help organizations that serve populations that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

“Our priority populations include our communities of color like American Indian communities, queer communities, our elderly and people with disabilities, as well as people who are experiencing homelessness,” said Laura Birnbaum, the social service supervisor for …

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