An additional $2.5 million has been added to a forgivable-loan program available for businesses affected by construction of the Central Corridor light rail line connecting downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul.
The City of Saint Paul, Metropolitan Council and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative now have a total of $4 million available for qualified small retail businesses — up to $20,000 each. The loans are interest-free, and may be forgiven in equal installments over five years if the business can certify that its business is operating on Central Corridor each year.
Funds may be used for working capital and current business expenses.
“This dramatic increase in the loan fund is the result of a lot of hard work and advocacy,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said. “The additional financial assistance will help businesses during construction so they can take maximum advantage of the opportunities that will come with the new line.”
“The next three years will be challenging for businesses on Central Corridor, and this expanded forgivable-loan program is one way we’re helping them survive during construction and thrive when the line opens,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “But the important thing that we can all do right now is shop along Central Corridor. It’s open for business, so come visit: ride a bike, take the bus, or park around the corner from your favorite stores and shop here today. Central Corridor has what you want.”
“This has been a great collaborative effort to assist businesses along the corridor,” said Council Chair Sue Haigh. “The Metropolitan Council is committed to doing as much as we can to ensure businesses remain in place and reap the benefits of this investment in transit, economic development and street and sidewalk enhancements.”