Business Resources for Employers & Employees

Small Business Resources

Businesses are facing incredibly difficult challenges as we all continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now more important than ever to shop local and support Wildwood businesses.  Owners of small businesses (and employees) in Wildwood may benefit from the information below.  If you have any questions regarding this information, contact Economic Development Manager Julian Jacquin at 636-458-0440 or

Business Loans/Grants

  • St. Louis County Small Business Relief ("SBR") Program

  • On May 1, County Executive Sam Page announced the St. Louis County Small Business Relief (“SBR”) Program, providing financial relief grants of up to $15,000 to small businesses that were closed during the County’s Stay at Home Order.  This program will provide a maximum of $2.5 million in grants to County Council District 7 (West St. Louis County).  Qualifying businesses are eligible to receive a one-time grant of $15,000 or less.  Non-profit businesses are eligible to apply.  Grants can be used to pay for the costs of business interruption as a result of the business closing during the Stay at Home Order and to cover costs associated with reopening safely. Applications to be considered for this grant are available on the County’s website.  UPDATE:  The application deadline passed on May 31, 2020.  District 7 County Councilman Mark Harder will now review the applications and make a recommendation for funding.  
  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $349 Billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the "Paycheck Protection Program" (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.  This program provides forgivable loans of up to $10 million towards payroll, rent, interest and utilities over a 24-week period, which convert to grants if 60% of those funds are spent on payroll costs during that period.  UPDATE:  the SBA and the US Treasury released a revised, borrower-friendly, “EZ version” of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application.  This newly revised Application will make it easier for small businesses to apply for PPP funds and receive forgiveness for loans received.  $100 Billion remains available in PPP funds, and the deadline to submit applications is June 30, 2020.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan for COVID-19

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Relief Loan Program provides small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 up to $2 million in low-interest loans over a 30-year term to use towards working capital.  This program contains an immediate $10,000 loan advance to applicants that meet the SBA’s eligibility requirements, which does not have to be repaid.  UPDATE:  on June 15, 2020, the SBA re-opened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.
  • St. Louis City/County $5,000 Zero-Interest Loan Program for Small Businesses

  • These funds have been fully expended and are no longer available.  The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and the St. Louis Development Corporation launched a new zero-interest loan program of up to $5,000 over two years towards working capital (rent, payroll, accounts payable) for any for-profit business in St. Louis City/County that has sustained economic damage due to COVID-19.  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.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loan Program

  • The Express Bridge loan program allows SBA Express lenders to provide expedited financing to small businesses located in declared disaster areas. Express Bridge loans are intended to be interim loans. Businesses use these funds for disaster-related purposes while they apply for and await long-term financing.  The loan may be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL.
  • US Chamber Save Small Business Fund

  • The US Chamber Save Small Business Fund is providing $5,000 grants to eligible small business owners in economically vulnerable communities (based on the Distressed Communities Index).  Unfortunately, Wildwood businesses are not yet eligible to apply.
  • Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) by National Restaurant Association

  • The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund provide grants of $500 (one per person) to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment that results in a lack of resources to pay for essential expenses.
  • GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund

  • The Small Business Relief Initiative was started by GoFundMe to help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them.  Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund, which will issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. 
  • Gateway Resilience Fund

  • The Gateway Resilience Fund provides short term monetary relief to employees and owners of independent restaurants, bars and shops in the St. Louis area negatively impacted by COVID-19, which may offset personal, family, living or funeral expenses as a result of the pandemic.

Employee Benefits

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

  • The ERTC has been designed to incentivize businesses of all sizes to keep employees on their payroll during this period of uncertainty, especially those companies that have been forced to close or are partially close. Businesses that lost significant revenue may also be eligible for this tax credit.  The credit is a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including the employer portion of health benefits, for each eligible employee.
  • Unemployment Benefits for Employees who are Out of Work due to COVID-19

  • The Missouri Department of Labor is making unemployment insurance benefits available to those employees that are out of work due to COVID-19.

Resources / Information

  • St. Louis Small Business Resource Hotline

  • The small business resource hotline engages businesses who are experiencing needs for their businesses and staff with the Small Business Empowerment Center to provide loan packaging, business strategy development, federal government contracting and business coaching.
  • Missouri SBDC Business Consulting

  • The Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering one-on-one confidential consulting for Missouri small businesses.  They’re available by email, phone or video conferencing.  
  • West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce - Resources

  • The West County Chamber acts as a hub of resources and information for businesses and community members.  For any assistance, contact Lori Kelling or Heather Zerweck.