City of St. Pete introduces grant to help small businesses, employees impacted by COVID-19

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The City of St. Petersburg has announced the creation of a grant dedicated to helping small businesses and its employees who are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The grant is called the Fighting Chance Fund and will be available to St. Pete residents who currently own and operate a small business which has been negatively impacted.

Starting April 9, applications for eligible businesses and employees will be available and will be accepted until funds are exhausted. There is no deadline to apply.

The fund is expected to provide critical support to about 1,000 restaurant, bar, retail, and service-based businesses and their more than 3,000 eligible employees, according to city officials. The city’s goal is to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue during this global pandemic.

The Fighting Chance Fund will provide $5,000 grants to impacted eligible businesses and $500 to impacted eligible individuals.

To be eligible:

  • Small businesses, independently-owned and operated within St. Pete, by a resident of St. Pete, that employs 25 people or less
    • This includes restaurants, bars, retail and service industries (The full list available at: stpete.org/fightingchancefund)
  • Employees who reside within the city limits who have been terminated, furloughed or whose salary has been reduced at least 50 percent from a restaurant, bar, retail or service-based business that is eligible for the business grant

To receive funding through this program, each business will be required to clearly share how it will use city funds, such as commercial rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payroll, retention of employees or employee support programs.

“Our locally-owned businesses are the backbone of this city and we are committed to giving them a fighting chance to survive this crisis and emerge stronger than ever,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

“While public health is our first priority during this crisis, we are also focused on the future and St. Pete’s economic recovery,” said City Administrator and Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin. “The Fighting Chance Fund is a first step to help our beloved local businesses not only survive this time, but thrive when it ends.”

For more application information and full eligibility details, visit stpete.org/fightingchancefund.

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