Entrepreneurs in the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) can soon apply for city funding to bolster their small business, startup or “side hustle.”
The Microfund Program begins in April after over six months of development and will also provide licensing information, mentorships and educational services to increase business acumen. The ultimate goal is to ensure all businesses within the CRA can utilize the current capital access initiative, a hallmark of the city’s redevelopment plan.
Rick Smith, economic development manager, and Tracey Smith, St. Pete Greenhouse manager, and small business liaison, led a presentation on the long-awaited program to city council members during Thursday’s Economic and Workforce Development Committee meeting. The Greenhouse and the Saturday Morning Shoppe’s Entrepreneurial Academy are essential community partners.
“I’m literally – in my heart and my head – doing cartwheels right now,” said Councilmember Deborah Figgs-Sanders. “I’m excited for this program because we have been speaking about this for how many years, and now it is really coming to fruition.”
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