St. Paul is using $3.5 million in federal CARES Act money to provide cash assistance to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a round of grants focused on live music venues, movie theaters and food halls.

This is the capital city’s second round of emergency grants for businesses that have lost revenue as a result of the pandemic. Earlier this year, more than 1,700 St. Paul businesses applied and 380 were chosen to receive $7,500 grants through the St. Paul Bridge Fund.

The city is now offering up to $25,000 for music venues and movie theaters; up to $250,000 for food halls; and up to $15,000 for organizations, including chambers of commerce, that support small businesses.

Money will also be available for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that applied for sales tax-funded Cultural STAR grants this fall, and for Bridge Fund applicants that weren’t selected in the first round.

Applications are due Oct. 21. For more information, visit