ST. LOUIS – St. Louis small businesses and non-profits will receive a boost in funds from the St. Louis Development Corporation after a grant signing Friday.

A ceremony was held at the North Side Economic Center, where 295 businesses and non-profits can expect to receive a portion of the more than $30 million stabilization grant. Mayor Tishaura Jones was in attendance to meet the awardees.

The North St. Louis Small Business and Non-Profit Grant Program is funded through COVID-19 state and local relief funds. Community leaders say this will be a game-changer for awardees.

“The message that today’s event sends to residents in our community is the city stands ready to invest in businesses along the corridor in north St. Louis to bring back the vibrancy…to make sure that businesses are able to thrive and grow,” Mayor Jones said.

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The $30 million is an addition to the $615,000 of capacity building grants that were previously awarded to nearly 150 businesses, bringing the total number of businesses funded to 439.

“We are confident as a city and confident in those businesses that they are getting resources that can really sustain their community and begin to reinvest in these areas,” Neal Richardson, chairman, president, and CEO of SLDC, said. “Really, being able to build on that hope and start action moving forward.”

Recipients of the grant say the funding will help tremendously.

“This raises my self-esteem; I feel like I’m being taken more serious,” Mary Ann Hamilton from the Mary Ann Network said. “I can go out and buy merchandise…it helps me be more serious.”