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Tampa Downtown Partnership to give $1,000 grants to 50 small businesses

The first-come, first-served grants are for locally-owned restaurants, art galleries, stores and others inside Tampa’s downtown special services district.
Just before lunchtime on a Friday in late March, the intersection of N Tampa Street and E Cass Street in downtown Tampa's streets was empty because of shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Just before lunchtime on a Friday in late March, the intersection of N Tampa Street and E Cass Street in downtown Tampa's streets was empty because of shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published May 4, 2020|Updated May 4, 2020

TAMPA — The nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership said Monday it will give $1,000 grants totaling $50,000 to pandemic-stricken businesses inside the city’s downtown special services district.

“These grants will not have to be repaid," partnership president and chief executive officer Lynda Remund said in announcing the Tampa’s Downtown Reinvestment and Relief Fund, or “Refund," grant program. "Our goal is to help ensure locally-owned restaurants, art galleries, retail stores and others and survive this pandemic.”

A partnership survey last month found that shutdowns to curb the spread of the virus have had a high impact on 9 out of 10 downtown Tampa businesses. Forty percent of those surveyed said they could not extend their current level of service past May unless something changed.

Related: Tampa downtown employers adjusting, but not forever, survey finds

The partnership plans to consider grant applications from locally owned and operated businesses on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Applicants must own the business, and the business must be inside the special services district. Applicants with multiple locations in the district can submit one application per site. Eligible businesses include restaurants and cafés, soft goods and general merchandise retailers, groceries, florists, personal care services, art galleries, bars, pubs and venues for live music, theater and other performing arts.

The grants can be used for lease or mortgage payments, utilities, supplies, and administrative expenses critical to business operations or for equipment or programs to assist with a transition to temporary digital services.

To apply, check tampasdowntown.com/refund-grant/. For a map of the downtown special service district, click on “Eligibility.”

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