Not long ago, the city of St. Paul opened a grant application process for tourism-related businesses that had been hard-hit by a loss of foot traffic during the pandemic.
Seven applicants applied for a share of the $4.5 million in relief dollars, which stem from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA. On Wednesday, the St. Paul City Council approved varying levels of grant funding for all seven applicants.
“Tourism is a fundamental driver of our local economy and has been one of the industries most profoundly affected by COVID-19,” said Nicolle Goodman, director of the department of Planning and Economic Development, noting each applicant was able to demonstrate that their normal operations draw visitors to the city.
Visit St. Paul Paul, the St. Paul RiverCentre Convention and Visitor’s Authority, will receive $1.5 million. Schmidt Keg House Holding, operator of the Keg and Case Market, will receive $1.2 million. The Minnesota Children’s Museum will receive $1 million. The Science Museum of Minnesota will receive $500,000. The Minnesota Museum of American Art will receive $200,000. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival will receive $40,000. The Cathedral Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit historic preservation and arts organization dedicated to maintaining the Cathedral, will receive $37,000
Overall, the city will receive $166 million in federal ARPA dollars. The first half — $83 million — arrived in May 2021.