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St. Louis company takes a gamble on fresh incentives to revitalize downtown area

St. Louis has seen a significant increase in residents and investment in recent years, and now downtown leaders are looking to boost retail activity in the area with $350,000 in grants and incentives. Greater St. Louis Inc. and the St. Louis Development Corporation have announced four initiatives aimed at attracting high-quality businesses of all sizes to the downtown area.

These initiatives include grants for pop-up retail shops, restaurants looking to expand outdoor seating or retail displays, new retail businesses for improvements, and ways to help property owners rent space to retail shops. The downtown area has been a focus of revitalization efforts for St. Louis leaders, with recent approval of additional funding from federal coronavirus relief funds for the America’s Center and a decrease in crime trends noted in a recent report.

Kurt Weigle, chief downtown officer of Greater St. Louis Inc., highlighted the importance of increasing retail activity in downtown St. Louis and how these incentives are designed to attract businesses that will benefit both the community and local economy. “We want to make sure that our downtown is vibrant and accessible to everyone,” said Weigle, “and these initiatives are part of that effort.”

The funding from Greater St. Louis Inc. comes at a time when many downtown businesses have shifted to remote work due to the pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on retail in downtown St. Louis has been significant, leading the St. Louis Development Corporation to implement the Downtown Retail Incentive Program as part of their overall strategy to support businesses in the area

By Samantha Jones

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