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St. Pete Seeks to Give Small Businesses a ‘Fighting Chance’ During COVID-19 Pandemic

Rick Kriseman | Kanika Tomalin | Politics

The $6.8 million fund will provide grants to eligible businesses and individuals.

ST. PETERSBURG – The city of St. Petersburg has announced the creation of the Fighting Chance Fund to provide grants to city residents who own and independently operate small businesses that have been negatively impacted by  COVID-19 orders.

The $6.8-million fund is expected to provide critical support to about 1,000 restaurant, bar, retail, and service-based businesses and their more than 3,000 eligible employees. The city’s goal is to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue during this global pandemic.

The Fighting Chance Fund provides $5,000 grants to impacted eligible businesses and $500 to impacted eligible individuals. Eligibility is defined as:

  • Small businesses, independently owned and operated within St. Pete, by a resident of St. Pete, that employs 25 people or less. This includes restaurants, bars, retail and service industries. The full list available here:
  • Employees who live within the city limits who have been terminated, furloughed or whose salary has been reduced at least 50 percent from a restaurant, bar, retail or service-based business that is eligible for the business grant (see above).

To receive funding through this program, each business will be required to clearly share how it will use city funds in keeping with the program’s eligible uses: commercial rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payroll, retention of employees, or employee support programs.

“Our locally-owned businesses are the backbone of this city and we are committed to giving them a fighting chance to survive this crisis and emerge stronger than ever,” Mayor Rick Kriseman said.

Said City Administrator and Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin: “While public health is our first priority during this crisis, we are also focused on the future and St. Pete’s economic recovery. The Fighting Chance Fund is a first step to help our beloved local businesses not only survive this time, but thrive when it ends.”

Applications for eligible businesses and employees will be available Thursday (April 9), and will be accepted until funds are exhausted. There is no deadline to apply.

For application information and full eligibility details, go to


Rick Kriseman | Kanika Tomalin | COVID-19 | Fighting Chance Fund | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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