Small city with big plans for a new normal

  • St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell
    St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell

It’s been said many times that small business is the backbone of our economy, and now as a nation and as a community, we are seeing how true that actually is.

The rapid evolution of COVID-19’s negative impact has affected our economy in unprecedented and unimaginable ways. As this pandemic moves on, so should we. Watching the daily developments across the country, I am inspired by the resilience of the human spirit. It is with that same spirit of resilience that our City of St. Cloud has established the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Stimulus Plan.

The $1.25 million COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Stimulus Plan includes a threephased approach to assisting businesses including post-recovery. This package of initiatives includes grant programs for small businesses and non-profit agencies, fee waivers for city services, time extensions for services, along with a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. The city’s intent is to provide support to qualifying registered small and mid-size businesses in St. Cloud as a complement to state and federal economic recovery programs.

We believe local government can play a vital role in helping our small businesses survive this experience. Supporting the growth of local businesses is imperative and the cornerstone to economic development. Local businesses are the core of our community because they contribute to economic sustainability through job creation and the city’s tax base. Small businesses also appreciate and value the city’s history and future; they understand life cycle changes and they adapt. And they serve as some of our best cheerleaders providing ongoing support in a variety of ways.

As part of our intent to support our small businesses, we are asking our community to reinvest as well through the ‘Buy Local’ initiative. Local vendors, contractors, retailers, and service providers are great resources and the bedrock of our community. We must help promote business continuity and sustainability by helping them innovate and transform according to our country’s new normal.

All of us together are experiencing a global health crisis of unimaginable impact and as a small community, we are being tested. Our strength comes from our relationships – together businesses, residents, community advocates and resource providers are a collective with the same goal… helping St. Cloud thrive. Please support our local businesses—and each other.