St. Paul mayor proposes $3.25M emergency fund for impacted families, small businesses

(FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul)

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is proposing a $3.25 million emergency relief fund for families and small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Carter made the announcement Wednesday during a presentation to the City Council.

“The Saint Paul Bridge Fund provides emergency relief for families and small businesses most vulnerable to sudden economic changes,” said Mayor Carter in a statement. “While we have much more work ahead to respond to the economic impacts of this crisis, this is an important first step.”

The fund would put $1 million toward eligible families. It would provide $2,000 of direct assistance for rent or mortgage payments. To qualify, families must meet the following requirements:

  • Have income at or below 40% Area Median Income, which is $40,000 for a family of four
  • Have at least one Saint Paul Public School student (Pre-K to 12 eligible)
  • Have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19

The fund includes $2.25 million to provide small businesses with $7,500 grants to pay for immediate business expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, employee health benefits, leave payments and payroll, and payments to suppliers. To qualify, businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • 20 or fewer employees
  • Gross revenue of $2 million or less
  • Been in operation in the last six months in St. Paul
  • Had their revenues significantly impacted by at least one of Governor Tim Walz's COVID-19 executive orders

At a special meeting on April 1, the proposal will go before the Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board for approval.