The City of St. Cloud’s Economic Gardening Program has been honored with the Economic Advancement Award at the 2024 Florida Municipal Achievement Awards, presented by the Florida League of Cities.

The Economic Advancement Award recognizes a program that supports, highlights, or partners with the local community to improve the economic well-being of the city. Economic gardening is an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that embraces the idea that entrepreneurs drive economies. St. Cloud’s Economic Gardening program included many financial and technical assistance programs for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and by downtown construction.

“Our Economic Development office has been proactive and intentional about creating programs that not only stabilize, but also help our local businesses flourish, and we are excited to see those efforts lauded by our peers,” said City Manager Veronica Miller.

The program offered $190,000 in grants, technical support, fee waivers and marketplace information for small and mid-size businesses. Among the programs included in the Economic Gardening program were Cloud Cash, utility payment assistance, marketing grants, and a shuttle service.