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This post originally appeared on DutchtownSTL.org.

Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced rule changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan program to help small businesses better access loans. Alongside the rule changes is a two week special window where small businesses’ applications get priority. The application period starts Wednesday, February 24th.

In a nutshell: if you’re a one-person business, sole proprietor, self-employed, or an independent contractor, this is your best opportunity to get a PPP loan. All you need is your Schedule C from your 2019 or 2020 tax return and a financial institution (ideally your bank) to apply.

Special Application Period for Small Businesses

If your business has 20 or fewer employees, or if you are a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or self employed individual, you may be eligible for the special PPP application. The funding formula has been changed to allow small business owners easier access to more funding.

Whether or not you have already received a PPP loan, you can apply for this round. You must be able to show a loss of revenue of 25% or more in any quarter of 2020 from 2019.

Additional changes to the program include:

  • Elimination of restrictions due to outstanding student loan debt
  • Relaxed restrictions for business owners who have been convicted of a felony
  • Eligibility for non-citizen business owners
  • Taking steps to address racial disparities in who receives the loans

Where To Apply

Your best bet is to approach your bank if you already have a relationship with one. If you don’t already have a bank to work with, local organizations like Justine Peterson can help refer you to banks or other funding sources. Additionally, services such as Biz2Credit can help you apply and receive funding.

Carrollton Bank offers personal one-on-one service for small businesses who are applying for a PPP loan for the first time. They can also help if you have applied with another lender but haven’t received a response, or if you were denied a loan on a previous application. Contact Nikki Woelfel at 314-347-9671 or nikkiwoelfel@carrolltonbanking.com, or Suzanne Hough at 314-346-6310 or suzannehough@carrolltonbanking.com.

How To Apply

We encourage you to apply as soon as possible—the application period opens on Wednesday, February 24th. When you apply, you will need to gather some information.

If you have employees

For small businesses with 20 or fewer employees, make sure to collect the following documents:

  • Business income tax returns
  • IRS forms 940 and 941
  • Entity formation documents
  • Payroll summaries

If you’re a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or self-employed

Businesses without employees will need these documents:

  • Income tax returns
  • Invoices, bank statements, or other records showing the business was active as of February 15th, 2020

Seeking Forgiveness

The PPP loans are forgivable in many cases. Otherwise, you may be eligible for an interest rate as low as 1% per year. Find out more about the PPP forgiveness program here. If your loan is for less than $150,000, you will need to file the fairly simple form 3508-S. Your lender should be able to help you navigate this process.

Support Dutchtown Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic has hung over our heads for a year. Businesses everywhere are struggling. We hope that you are able to use this information to help keep your business running as we look towards brighter days.

Refer your fellow business owners to this page by telling them to visit dutchtownstl.org/grants. And join your fellow neighborhood business owners in the Dutchtown Business Owners Facebook group to help each other with PPP loans and anything else that keeps our businesses open.

This post originally appeared on DutchtownSTL.org.

This Valentine’s Day, shop Dutchtown and get some unique finds for your sweetheart! Plus, you’ll have chances to win great prizes from our neighborhood merchants! Read on to learn how you can win, and find out more about special events happening on the day before Valentine’s.

How To Win

Join Us on Facebook

We’re making it easy to win—just join the Dutchtown Business District group on Facebook! In this new group, you’ll be able to keep up on the latest from our neighborhood business owners—new shops, new inventory, new sales, and more.

All you have to do is join the Facebook group by February 11th. On February 12th we’ll have a random drawing in which several lucky followers win gift certificates from a variety of Dutchtown businesses. Winners must pick up their gift certificates in person. Go on a Dutchtown shopping spree!

Participating Merchants

More Valentine’s Fun in Dutchtown

Cross Grand Selfie Photo Contest

Cross Grand, Downtown Dutchtown’s creative service agency, has a fun contest with great prizes. Take a selfie with your sweetie and write a three sentence love letter. Submit your letter and your photo by February 12th. You’ll be entered to win a basket loaded with a $20 gift certificate, stuffed animal, chocolate basket, and liquor bouquet. Plus you’ll get a 30 minute couples photo shoot with five edited images!

Forget Me Not’s Valentine’s Day Party

Forget Me Not Boutique at 4213 Virginia Avenue celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 13th with treats and specials. Sip while you shop and enjoy some chocolates to keep your spirits lifted. Shoppers can take advantage of free gift wrapping and get $10 off when they spend $50. And one lucky shopper will win a gift basket featuring merchandise from Forget Me Not.. Come shop from 10am to 5pm.

Valentine’s Treats at Perfectly Pastry

Perfectly Pastry, located in the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall, offers special treats throughout the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Find cupcakes, mini fruit pies, chocolate covered strawberries, and more. Perfectly Pastry is open from 7:30am to 2pm Wednesday through Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

This post originally appeared on DutchtownSTL.org.

The Dutchtown Business Showcase returns! Our video series will introduce you to some of the businesses throughout Dutchtown and the people who make them run. In this episode, we visited pastry chef Chris Phillips at Perfectly Pastry. Perfectly Pastry is located at the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall in Downtown Dutchtown.

About Perfectly Pastry

Carrot cake muffin, peanut butter energy balls, and cinnamon roll from Perfectly Pastry in Downtown Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Established in 2019, Perfectly Pastry carries a fantastic line of breakfast pastries, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet treats. Many of their items are keto friendly or vegan. In addition to the offerings available at their Dutchtown retail space which opened in the fall of 2020, they also do wholesale baking for a number of coffee shops and other customers throughout the St. Louis region. The wholesale operation runs out of the shared commercial kitchen at Urban Eats.

Serving the Community

Beyond that, Chef Chris and her daughters/business partners offer coaching and resources to help others start their baking business. They also work with justice involved women to teach them baking and business skills, and they partner with Guardian Angel and other non-profits to help raise funds.

Find Perfectly Pastry

Perfectly Pastry is located at 3301 Meramec Street at the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall in Downtown Dutchtown. The space is also home to Juanita’s Creole Soul Café and Tacos La Jefa, as well as pop-up food events featuring some of their Shared Kitchen partners.

Visit Perfectly Pastry on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7:30am to 2pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 2pm. You can also find Perfectly Pastry on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


In previous episodes of the Dutchtown Business Showcase we’ve visited Cassandra Logan of Logan’s Kids Resale and Chef Curtis McCann at Juanita’s Creole Soul Café. You can also find these and other videos at our new DutchtownSTL YouTube Channel (like and subscribe!).

Video filming and production by Chip Smith of Cross Grand.

This post originally appeared on DutchtownSTL.org.

Welcome back to the Dutchtown Business Showcase! In this video series, we’ll be introducing you to some of the businesses throughout Dutchtown. Our second episode takes us to Juanita’s Creole Soul Café, where we meet Chef Curtis McCann.

Chef Curtis started in the catering business. In the summer of 2020, he moved into the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall to open Juanita’s and showcase his culinary skills that were influenced by his grandmother (the eponymous Juanita) and the creole food of New Orleans. The success of his Downtown Dutchtown location has led him to open a second location in North St. Louis, coming January 9th to 1823 North Taylor Avenue.

Juanita’s is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11:30am to 7pm. Due to COVID-19, the Neighborhood Food Hall is currently takeout only (with sidewalk seating available on warmer days). You can also have Juanita’s delivered via Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates.

Supporting Dutchtown Businesses

Particularly during the current pandemic, Dutchtown businesses need your support. Restaurants especially struggle during the early, colder months of the year. But you can help keep our neighborhood strong and vibrant just by ordering dinner! Please consider ordering takeout or delivery from Juanita’s Creole Soul or any of our other wonderful Dutchtown restaurants for your next meal. Some restaurants are offering limited dine-in service as well.

DT2 and DutchtownSTL.org are developing resources to help support our neighborhood businesses. If you’re a new or established business owner, visit dutchtownstl.org/business to see what we have to offer. And if you’d like to have your business featured in the Dutchtown Business Showcase, get in touch with us.


This Dutchtown Business Showcase video was filmed and produced by Chip Smith of Cross Grand, also located in Downtown Dutchtown. Subscribe to the DutchtownSTL YouTube channel to catch the next Dutchtown Business Showcase coming soon!

This post originally appeared on DutchtownSTL.org.

In 2020, Dutchtown non-profits faced unprecedented challenges and provided unparalleled responses to a nationwide pandemic that continues nine months after it began. Though our neighborhood organizations have come through for Dutchtown and its residents, resources have been stretched to their limits. This Giving Tuesday, we ask that you offer whatever support you can to keep our community organizations on track to help keep our community strong and united.

The Neighborhood Innovation Center in Downtown Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

The Neighborhood Innovation Center

The recently opened community center in Dutchtown, otherwise known as the NIC, has been at the center of our efforts to maintain and grow our ongoing efforts to develop a better Dutchtown for all. But the NIC needs your help to raise $3,000 for real estate taxes as the end of the year approaches.

Donate to the NIC

The NIC is not just the place where we hold our neighborhood meetings—though having a big, clean space to let us gather safely and conduct neighborhood business has been invaluable. But the NIC’s parking lot has hosted numerous outdoor socially distanced gatherings and events that brought our neighbors together throughout the year in spite of the ongoing pandemic.

Neighborhood Meetings

The wide open space at the Neighborhood Innovation Center has allowed neighborhood organizations such as DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown, the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, and the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Association to have small meetings and manage other business in person safely. The NIC also has technology resources that have allowed us to broadcast and share these meetings with everyone in the neighborhood.

Developing an Outdoor Public Space

Renderings of an outdoor multi-purpose space at the NIC.
Renderings of an outdoor multi-purpose space at the NIC.

Recently, the NIC received a Community Resiliency grant from Missouri Main Street Connection and AARP to make improvements to the site with a focus on developing the parking lot into a flexible multi-purpose outdoor space for neighbors to come together. You may have noticed the building is in the process of getting a nice new paint job—that’s just a part of developing a welcoming, open, accessible space for Dutchtown neighbors to utilize.

Events at the NIC

Neighbors masked up and gathered for Cuban food in April for DT2 After Hours, with people lining up six feet apart in the rain to enjoy a delicious dinner with their friends and fellow Dutchtownies.

The NIC has also co-hosted other events that span across multiple locations along Meramec in Downtown Dutchtown, like July’s Shades of Summer event that introduced new street furniture at Meramec Street shops.. The NIC acted as the home base for neighbors looking to find out more about ongoing community organization efforts, with volunteers offering information and opportunities (along with some cold beverages).

Donate to the NIC

The Dutchtown Justice Alliance has organized marches, protests, and voter registration drives from the NIC. June’s 8:46 @ 8:46 march started and ended at the NIC, and the Justice Alliance holds their monthly Final Friday solidarity events in front of the NIC.

And the Dutchtown CID held their 10-10-1000 event at the NIC in October. 1,000 tulip and daffodil bulbs were distributed for planting in public spaces throughout Dutchtown.

Helping Small Businesses

In June, volunteers from DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown were at the Neighborhood Innovation Center helping small business owners navigate the application process for CARES Act grants from the City of St. Louis, bringing needed funds for our neighborhood businesses to continue operating through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, part of the NIC’s long term mission (hindered by the pandemic) is to act as a business support center for Dutchtown businesses both established and new. The NIC plans to create a labor pool to help businesses keep staff while putting neighbors in jobs. They will also offer coworking space for small startups and businesses needing a place to work from.

Dutchtown Proud signs in front of the Neighborhood Innovation Center in Downtown Dutchtown.

Cure Violence Headquarters

Cure Violence, a program aimed at reducing crime and gun violence in Dutchtown, held a backpack giveaway and open house at the end of the summer in the NIC’s parking lot. Employment Connection operates the Cure Violence program in Dutchtown and chose the Neighborhood Innovation Center as their local headquarters, placing our community gathering place at the center of efforts to make Dutchtown a safer neighborhood.

25th Ward Polling Place

25th Ward voters east of Grand have seen their polling place bounce around to several different sites over the last few years, each presenting challenges with location and accessibility. But the NIC has offered up its space as a polling place since it was established, bringing a centrally located and accessible polling place to more 25th Ward residents. The 2020 presidential election delivered unusually high turnout in the neighborhood, even during a pandemic. Along with outstanding and committed election workers, the NIC provided a safe, orderly, efficient place to cast your ballot.

Movie Night at the NIC in Downtown Dutchtown.

Movie Nights

The NIC has hosted free, family friendly Dutchtown Movie Nights for the neighborhood, including a showing of the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 in September, as well as screening The Wiz as a part of Dutchtown South Community Corporation‘s Boogie Down Dutchtown event in October.

The NIC Needs Your Help!

The Neighborhood Innovation Center needs your assistance as we approach the end of the year. The NIC is operated as a standalone non-profit, however the building is currently owned by Midwest Bank Centre. Because the building is owned by a for-profit entity, the building is still subject to real estate taxes, for which the NIC is responsible as the tenant. This year’s tax bill is thousands of dollars, and the tax is due on December 31st.

Without help, Dutchtown could lose what has become an integral part of our efforts to bring and keep our community together.

Keep the NIC Open!

DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown

In recent years, DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown has been laying the foundation for community-driven change. While our community’s vulnerabilities were brought into focus and exacerbated by the virus, our collective vision for a more equitable Dutchtown prepared us to fight back together. 

One-Time Donation to DT2   Sustaining Donation to DT2

When the shutdown occurred in March, Downtown Dutchtown worked diligently through DutchtownSTL.org and other media to promote available aid and resources to neighbors and businesses. Our Dutchtown Proud signs were provided to anyone based on a “pay what you can” model so that anyone could be Dutchtown Proud in a time when feeling part of a community was even more important. 

We came together in community safely around our summer Movie Nights. We welcomed new restaurants Juanita’s Creole Soul, Tacos Le Jefa, Perfectly Pastry, and Pies and Surprise, and welcomed new businesses like Cross Grand and Kwamboka

Many of these efforts were derived from Downtown Dutchtown’s partnership with Missouri Main Street Connection for the UrbanMain pilot program. Working in conjunction with partners including Dutchtown South Community Corporation and the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, the UrbanMain pilot program seeks to continue community-driven development and vibrant activity along Meramec and beyond.  

We will be pivoting into many new and exciting opportunities during this decade in Dutchtown.  Investment is increasing, interest in the neighborhood is high, and we have a fantastic foundation and partners to build a vibrant and equitable community in Dutchtown in the years to come. 

Please consider supporting DT2 and the momentum we’ve built with a recurring or one-time donation.

One-Time Donation to DT2   Sustaining Donation to DT2

More Dutchtown Organizations

Dutchtown South Community Corporation

Dutchtown South Community Corporation has been committed to the improvement of Dutchtown for over 40 years. Their work is guided by the community and focuses on issues that matter to our neighbors. Your gift to DSCC helps them to continue their mission of advancing neighborhood vitality through community empowerment, housing stabilization, and real estate development.

Donate to DSCC

Thomas Dunn Learning Center

The pandemic has put a damper on some of the services offered by Thomas Dunn Learning Center, but rest assured they’ll be back in full force soon. Even through the pandemic, they have continued to offer food assistance, tutoring and HiSET classes, financial education, field trips for the South Side Youth Council, and other online events. Thomas Dunn Learning Center’s mission is essential to building a better Dutchtown.

Donate to Thomas Dunn

Other Neighborhood Non-Profits

Neighborhood organizations such as St. Anthony’s Food Pantry, ARJ Community Outreach, and Franciscan Connection offer direct assistance to Dutchtown residents in need. If you’re more inclined towards supporting the arts and creative endeavors, consider a donation to Perennial, South Broadway Art Project, Pianos for People, or Intersect Arts Center. Prefer pets? Donate to Tenth Life Cat Rescue or St. Louis City Kitties.


We have so many great non-profits doing outstanding work in Dutchtown during the pandemic and beyond. Everyone could use your help on Giving Tuesday or any day you’re able to spare a contribution big or small. We hope you’ll be able to donate to some or all of these organizations to help Dutchtown continue to grow and thrive.