ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Small businesses are the "backbone" of the city of St. Petersburg, and providing support for local mom and pop shops is the focus on a new emergency grant fund.
Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin announced Friday that the city has launched the "Fighting Chance Fund," a first step to help those who have been financially harmed by coronavirus and by "strict governmental measures that have been put in place."
The goal of this fund is to provide critical support to certain business owners, including restaurants, bars, retail shops, pet care, child and senior care services, event spaces, fitness centers and gyms.
Deputy Mayor Dr. Tomalin says there are about 900 locally owned businesses here in St. Petersburg that employ approximately 3,000 people.
The city program will provide $5,000 grants to impacted, eligible businesses and $500 grants to their affected employees. If approved, recipients do not have to pay back these grants, but they are considered taxable income.
In order to apply, you'll need to independently own a small business in St. Petersburg that employs no more than 25 people, and you must live within the city limits.
If you live in St. Petersburg and have been laid off, furloughed, or if your salary has been reduced by 50%, you can also apply, provided you were working for a small business that is covered by the grant.
The Greenhouse will be a hub for support and guidance during this time.
You can apply for the Fighting Chance Fund starting April 9.
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