List of Relief Funding for STL Startups Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The team at T-REX has put together a short list focused on financial relief efforts and funding available for small businesses and startups in St. Louis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many thanks to Patty Hagen, Kathleen Bauer, and BJ Kraiberg for permitting EQ to use their list and add a couple of new items too.

State / Federal Programs

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance
Low-interest disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters.

Whatever size company you are, EQ recommends that you investigate the “Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance.” The form is extremely simple to fill out: it will take you less than 10 minutes and could see you being awarded $10k in forgivable loans.

Applying for the Payment Protection Program (PPP)
For larger teams, EQ also recommends applying to The Paycheck Protection Program which is a forgivable loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

Arch Grants have posted a brief explainer regarding how it works too: SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Loans can be up to 2.5x the borrowers’ average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million.

To apply, please reach out to any existing SBA 7(a) lender or thorough any federally insured credit union/bank. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as this Friday, April 3, 2020.

This money is first-come, first-serve so please apply as soon as possible, if you see a need
Lenders approve loan payout. If you are denied by one lender you can apply again through another lender here: Eastern-Missouri Active SBA Lender List

Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program
An alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a reduction in available work. This program allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff, and allows employees to receive a portion of unemployment benefits while still working reduced hours.

Local Relief Funding

Gateway Resilience Fund
Short term monetary relief for local small business owners and employees. $500 in direct cash support, $1K towards vendors (rent, utilities, credit payments, etc.), $5K for small businesses specifically within St. Louis Downtown CID, thanks to Downtown STL.

Small Business Resource Fund
Up to $5K in zero-interest loans for small businesses thanks to St. Louis Economic Development Partnership & St. Louis Development Corp.

Arch Grants Relief Fund
Reallocated Arch Grants organizational funds to support previous Arch Grants Founders: If you are an Arch Grants Founder, look for communication from Arch Grants by April 6th

Startup Grants & Accelerators

WeFunder Fight the Virus Accelerator
Up to $1,000,000 for startups tackling COVID-19. A wide array of solutions are eligible, such as remote learning & collab, delivery distribution, medical devices, telehealth, etc. Apply by April 3rd.

Arch Grants Global Startup Competition 2020
Arch Grants will still hold their annual competition and award $50K in equity-free funding to 20 startups, and 5 specifically to geospatial startups. Applications are currently open, and previously submitted applications may be edited and updated until a new deadline is announced this summer.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program
$100M total to be offered in cash grants and ad credits to up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.

Need-to-Know Info

Local Information Collections
MOSourcelink, St. Louis Regional Chamber, and The State Science & Technology Institute have put together great collections of even more resources available.

50+ Financial Relief Resources for Startup Founders and Small Business Owners
Compiled by EQ contributor, Jacob Sheldon, here’s a list of all the financial aid resources available, from state-level support to free legal advice and online ads.

Get Your Head Around the CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn: Here’s the list of how much you can borrow under what terms.

Webinar: Understanding the CARES Act: Small Business Loan and Grant Programs
If you are a small business or nonprofit with 500 or fewer employees, it’s likely that your organization will qualify for some form of assistance under the CARES Act.

Join subject matter experts at Brown Smith Wallace for a live webinar on Friday, April 3, at 11 a.m. CT to break down the current details and guidance for the small business loan and grant programs available under the CARES Act.

Mentioned in this Article

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Jonathan Allen is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of EQ. He is also the President and Co-founder of Longneck & Thunderfoot (L&T), a brand publishing company incubated at the Columbia University Startup Lab in NYC. After winning an Arch Grant, he moved to St Louis in the summer of 2016.

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