St. Louis Park leaders formally directed some of the city’s federal pandemic relief money toward rental assistance and to support businesses.

The city is set to receive $3.68 million in funding from the Congressionally enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. During the Sept. 8 City Council meeting, the council authorized spending some of those for “mitigating economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a city staff report.

The action directed funds to the city’s Economic Development Authority, also under the control of council members, for a number of expenses eligible for reimbursement under the CARES Act.

The transferred funds cover $108,000 in assistance for the St. Louis Park Emergency Program for housing rental assistance along with $35,000 for Discover St. Louis Park to offset costs related to business interruption. The funds provide $224,000 for the establishment of the Small Business Grant Assistance Program to help small businesses in the city that were directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the transferred funds will cover $200,000 for a partnership with Hennepin County’s Small Business relief fund for additional grants to St. Louis Park small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

In highlighting the vote, Councilmember Margaret Rog said, “I’m pleased with the decisions that were made around where to direct these resources. I know there’s more to come.”

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