As part of the city’s ongoing effort to support reinvestment in South St. Pete, Mayor Ken Welch has announced another big round of funding for small businesses in the area. Applications for the newest round of the South St. Petersburg CRA Microfund Program open on December 14, providing an accessible funding opportunity for businesses located in the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area.
This is the second application round of the new program, after the initial cohort received more than $400,000 in funds distributed to more than 50 diverse, small businesses and startups in South St. Pete. In addition to funding (anywhere from $2,500-$5,000), businesses receive education, mentoring, and networking support, all of which allows them to make targeted improvements without having to provide upfront capital.
Application information can be found here, and the City says there will be another two rounds of applications next year.
The Microfund Program offers personalized capacity building through increased education, mentoring, and networking in exchange for funding so business owners can make targeted and planful improvements without having to provide upfront capital. Through this funding package, the City’s goal is to ensure businesses within the CRA can take advantage of the capital access initiative.
“Strategic financial support and capacity building for small businesses is key to our plan for equitable economic development,” said Mayor Kenneth T. Welch. “We know from the first round of South St. Pete CRA Microfund recipients that this program is making a difference. We encourage more small business owners to take advantage of this opportunity that could take them to the next level. When they’re successful, all of St. Pete wins.”
The South St. Petersburg CRA is generally bounded by 2nd Avenue North, Interstate 275, Interstate 175, and Booker Creek on the north; 4th Street South on the east; 30th Avenue South on the south; and 49th Street on the west. The South St. Petersburg CRA was established to promote reinvestment in housing and neighborhoods, commercial corridors, business development, and education and workforce development.
Eligible businesses within the CRA are encouraged to apply beginning May 9 and can find more information here.