COVID-19 Small Business Resources

Businesses are facing incredibly difficult challenges as we all continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why it is more important now than ever to support our Manchester small businesses.

We have compiled a list of resources for small business to utilize during this strenuous time.

Small Business Rapid Deployment Fund

  • St. Louis County announced the Small Business Rapid Deployment Fund. The fund includes $5,000 grants to help pay operating expenses or business costs, including rent and payroll. Restaurants that have had to close their dining rooms to comply with public health orders can use the fund for equipment for outdoor dining, heaters, tents, and curbside service.
  • To qualify, a business must have 25 or fewer fulltime equivalent employees and a physical presence in the County. Grants can only go to businesses significantly impacted by the pandemic for expenses and costs incurred between April 1 and December 16. Businesses which already received a grant through the County’s Small Business Relief program are not eligible. 
  • Applications are open on Monday, November 23rd at 9:00 a.m. and close December 7th. To apply, visit

Small Business Resource Fund Program

  • The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, the St. Louis Development Corporation, The St. Louis County Port Authority, and a coalition of 10 St. Louis banks are offering a zero-loan program* for small businesses in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County.
  • Businesses are eligible to apply for loans of up to $5,000 for working capital. Any for-profit business in the city of St. Louis or St. Louis County that has sustained economic damage due to the COVID-19 crisis may apply. To obtain a zero-interest loan, businesses must be current on all taxes through 2018, be in good standing with state and local governments, and have been in business for at least one year. Applicants must demonstrate that their company’s jobs are threatened by the health crisis, and they must explain how the loan would retain those jobs. Financial institutions and lenders are not eligible.
  • For more question about this loan, please email
  • Apply here.

Small Business Resource Discretionary Grant Program

  • The St. Louis County Port Authority is sponsoring the Small Business Resource Discretionary Grant Program through the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. This new St. Louis County program will give $500 discretionary grants to help sole proprietors, contract workers, gig workers, 1099 workers, and other businesses who do not qualify for our Small Business Resource Program (SBRP).  
  • Apply here.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.SBA Express Bridge Loans
  • Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
  • Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender by connecting with your local SBA District Office.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership Small Business Resource Hotline

  • The small business resource hotline will direct businesses who are experiencing needs for their business and staff, collect date from each business to track impact of pandemic to the Region, share resources to best assist businesses with immediate needs through strategic partnerships, connect to Small Business Empowerment Center to provide loan packaging, business strategy development, federal government contracting and business coaching.
  • 314-615-1777 or

Gateway Resilience Fund

  • Provides short term monetary relief to employees and owners of independent bars, restaurants, and shops in the St. Louis area affected by closures and other circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak. Distribution of Funds: The fund will consider covering personal, family, living, or funeral expenses incurred as a result of the outbreak. The Gateway Resilience Fund will make direct grants to eligible applicants or pay their bills.

Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program

  • The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program is an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a reduction in available work. It allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff. These employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. To participate, an employer must complete an application for the affected unit within the company and submit it to the Division of Employment Security (DES) for approval.

Resources, FAQs, and Updates for Businesses