There is no doubt that this has been a very challenging time for small businesses. Hoping to shine a bit light, the City of St. Cloud has launched two new grant programs aimed at helping local businesses survive and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Small Business Rental Assistance Grant and the Sidewalk Café Furniture Business Assistance Grant are funded through the city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and are designed to help local small businesses continue operations, retain staff, and prevent blight.

CDBG-CV Small Business Rental Assistance Grant
This program allows eligible small businesses to apply for a rent subsidy and working capital for up to $5,000 per month for a maximum of $20,000 per business (based on current market lease rates). Grant recipients may use funding specifically for rent or mortgage payments, payroll and other working capital expenses (such as insurance, utilities, and telephone expenses).

Sidewalk Café Furniture Business Assistance Grant
This program provides a one-time grant for downtown businesses to utilize outdoor dining in the city’s sidewalk right-of-way areas. The program offers grants up to $10,000 per business for the purchase of outdoor furniture for restaurants, cafes, and breweries. It is designed to help local businesses invest in high-quality furniture to complement and enhance downtown revitalization efforts during and post-COVID-19.

Eligibility criteria and the applications are posted on the City’s website at Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, March 1. The program will continue until funds are exhausted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the eligibility criteria prior to submitting an application.

Questions? Email or call 407-957-7234.