Jane Lavey, owner of Giddyup Jane women's boutique, works behind the counter on Sunday, May 17, 2020, in preparation of reopening her Ladue retail shop next week if only for a short time. Since closing her store to customers in mid March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lavey has announced to her customers that she will close for good in mid June after about 11 years in business at 9670 Clayton Rd. With St. Louis County's stay-at-home orders expiring on Monday, Lavey will open her boutique with limited hours to hold clearance sales and fill online orders until she shuts the doors permanently. Lavey says that the closure was scheduled before the pandemic "It's a strange position to be reopening to close again...but that's what's happening," she said. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY — Starting Wednesday, small businesses in Missouri can apply for emergency grants of up to $50,000 via a new $30 million program through the state’s Department of Economic Development.

The grants through the new Small Business Grant Program are limited to for-profit businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The Missouri Department of Agriculture will administer about $7.5 million of the grant funding pool reserved for family-owned farms. Businesses have until Aug. 31 to apply.

The state will focus awards on industries hit hard by the pandemic such as retail, accommodation, food service and health care, but grants aren’t limited to those industries. DED staff will have discretion over awards and review applications in the order they are submitted.

The Small Business Grant Program is funded with a portion of Missouri’s CARES Act allocation. Missouri has received more than $2 billion in federal aid since the coronavirus outbreak began earlier this year. Officials have spent more than $610 million on items ranging from masks and other medical protective gear to ventilators. Earlier this month, Gov. Mike Parson earmarked $50 million from the state’s CARES Act funding to boost internet access across the state.


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