Gateway Resilience Fund Awards Nearly $440,000 in COVID-19 Relief Grants

Grants totaling nearly $440,000 were awarded to 525 individuals and 16 downtown businesses by the Gateway Resilience Fund, officials with the St. Louis Community Foundation announced yesterday.

Created less than two weeks ago, the Gateway Resilience Fund, hosted by the St. Louis Community Foundation, provides short-term financial assistance to employees and owners of small businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We established the Gateway Resilience Fund to get financial assistance in the hands of people quickly and efficiently,” said Andrew “Roo” Yawitz, owner of the Gramophone and one of the donors who helped establish the fund. “From rent, utilities, and even payments to vendors and suppliers, people – our neighbors – are hurting, and we want to help.”

The Gateway Resilience Fund offers help to employees and owners of bars, restaurants, shops, and other small businesses across the area disrupted by the outbreak. It continues to grow with ongoing public contributions and sizeable donations from entities such as the Downtown St. Louis Community Investment District (CID) and the Regional Arts Commission (RAC), whose contributions are earmarked for downtown small businesses and local artists, respectively.

Specifically, the fund awarded nearly $360,000 to 525 individuals, while CID funds totaling $80,000 assisted 16 downtown businesses.

How to Apply

To be eligible for a grant from the Gateway Resilience Fund, an applicant must be an employee, essential contractor, or owner of an independent bar, restaurant, entertainment venue, or retail shop located in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, or contiguous counties. The fund makes $500 grants to individuals.

Up to $5,000 is available for small businesses in the 180-block area of downtown covered by the Downtown St. Louis CID. Businesses applying must have been open for at least two years and have a minimum of five employees.

The application criteria for RAC funds stipulate the applicant must be a working artist (all disciplines eligible) who lost income due to COVID-19 disruptions. Applicants must be 19-years old or older and live in St. Louis City or St. Louis County. The RAC application is posted at www.stlgives.org/covid19/rac-artist-relief-fund.

Applications will be considered and awarded until April 30 or until the designated funds are depleted.

Two Funds Providing Relief

The Gateway Resilience Fund is one of two funds hosted by the St. Louis Community Foundation and providing pandemic relief.

The other, the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, is funded by a coalition of 30 foundations, businesses, and individual donors to direct funds to nonprofits already providing services to populations that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. These groups include the elderly, children, and people with mental health issues or disabilities.

To date, the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund has directed nearly $370,000 to 16 nonprofits.

In total, more than $2.5 million has been raised to date for both funds combined. Grants from each are guided by advisory committees unique to the mission of each fund.

Please Give! Here’s How

Individual, corporate, and foundation contributions are being accepted and encouraged for both the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund and the Gateway Resilience Fund. Visit stlgives.org/COVID19 for details on both funds and how to donate and apply.

For additional information about the St. Louis Community Foundation visit stlgives.org.

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