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You’re still Dutchtown Proud, right? You should be! Even in the face of a nationwide crisis, Dutchtown neighbors pulled together, supported each other, and kept our neighborhood moving forward. We should all be proud to see our neighborhood keep going and growing.

Last year, we wanted to demonstrate the sense of community and togetherness that might not be readily apparent to outsiders or passers-by. To do so, we started distributing Dutchtown Proud yard signs in exchange for a name-your-price donation to DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown. The campaign was a huge success, with 200 signs distributed all over Dutchtown.

Order Your Dutchtown Proud Sign

We’re bringing back the Dutchtown Proud campaign in 2021. We have more neighbors than ever ready to organize their blocks, clean up the streets, participate in committees, support our local businesses, and show off what makes the Dutchtown community strong, resilient, and ready to take on the challenges our neighborhood faces. Let’s let everyone know!

Get Your Dutchtown Proud Sign!

This year, we’re offering the same deal—order a sign, name your price, and we’ll come drop one (or two or ten) off to you!

Order Your Dutchtown Proud Sign

A Dutchtown Proud sign on Kingsland Court in the Dutchtown neighborhood of St. Louis, MO.

We suggest a contribution of around $15. The signs cost us about $5 each to produce—a big thanks to A Big Difference Signs and Graphics for helping us make these sturdy, union made signs affordable! Any funds in excess of the cost go straight to DT2 to help continue the work of building a unique, diverse, and thriving Dutchtown for everyone.

Can’t afford $15 right now? No problem. We’ll even give you one for free. Just go through the ordering process, name your price at $0, and we’ll still be happy to have another neighbor displaying their Dutchtown pride.

Free Dutchtown Proud Sign for Sustaining Donors

New for 2021, we’re giving out Dutchtown Proud signs to anyone who becomes a sustaining donor to DT2. Set up your monthly recurring donation and we’ll send you a sign. Just let us know where to drop it off.

Become a Sustaining Donor

Any contribution helps—$5, $10, $25, or $50 a month goes a long way to support the exciting work DT2 has planned for 2021 and beyond. This year, our goal is to raise $10,000 through sustaining donations. With nearly $3,000 already committed for 2021, we still have a long way to go, but we hope you can help get us there.

Where Do the Funds Go?

After covering the costs of the signs, all proceeds go to DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown, our 501(c)(3) community development non-profit. DT2’s mission is to promote a thriving community and shared prosperity by facilitating economic development and fostering opportunity in the Dutchtown neighborhood. Through this mission, we aim to attract diverse ownership, promote places, spaces, and faces, and increase occupancy.

A Dutchtown Proud sign on Virginia Avenue in the Dutchtown neighborhood of St. Louis, MO.

Established in 2005 as a neighborhood business association, DT2 has always run on a shoestring budget with an all-volunteer staff. In 2020, we were able to hire our first part-time employee, Dutchtown Growth Manager Jessica Payne. Jessica brings years of experience in neighborhood development and non-profit management, and her skills are helping to raise funds, secure grants, plan projects, and attract and retain volunteers.

DT2 recently partnered with Missouri Main Street Connection to participate in the UrbanMain program, the first such program in Missouri. Following Main Street’s four point approach, DT2 established new committees led by neighborhood stakeholders to more effectively plan for Dutchtown’s future. The committees are already planning and executing projects such as neighborhood cleanups, business support programs, and activities to activate Marquette Park.

Even with limited ability to gather regularly in person, the last year has brought more engagement than ever between DT2 and the community. New volunteers, new and long-time residents, and new and established businesses continue to team up to move Dutchtown forward. Dutchtown has momentum like never before.

Keep Building Dutchtown—Get Your Sign Today!

If you’re new to the neighborhood, stake your claim with a Dutchtown Proud sign! If you’ve recently felt inspired by the growing sense of community rising in Dutchtown, show off that spirit with a Dutchtown Proud sign! If your sign blew away over the winter, get a new Dutchtown Proud sign! If you want to show unity on your block, get a few Dutchtown Proud signs and share them with your neighbors!

Order Your Dutchtown Proud Sign

The final weekend of March brought together Dutchtown businesses, organizations, neighbors, and shoppers from across St. Louis for an exceptional display of the strong community here in our neighborhood. Music, food, and fun brought people from all walks of life into the streets of Dutchtown.

Downtown Dutchtown Spring Sidewalk Sale

Customers shop the sidewalk sale on Meramec Street in Downtown Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

We started on Friday and Saturday with the Downtown Dutchtown Spring Sidewalk Sale, featuring over two dozen shops, restaurants, vendors, and organizations along three blocks of Meramec Street. Repeat shoppers and new customers flocked to find unbelievable deals and unique flavors.

The weekend sale was organized by the owners of Kwamboka, Logan’s Kids Resale, and other Dutchtown business owners who began to organize via the Dutchtown Business District Facebook group. Working together, our neighborhood entrepreneurs kept the registers ringing as they showed off our eclectic Downtown Dutchtown shops.

Aloha of Black Coffee at her pop-up coffee shop in Downtown Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Meanwhile, the food vendors at the Urban Eats Neighborhood Food Hall served up delicious dishes that can only be found in Dutchtown. Black Coffee and Perfectly Pastry helped us wake up for a big day of shopping. Juanita’s Creole Soul Café satisfied stomachs until selling out. And Tacos la Jefa brought foodies from around the region to enjoy their unique birria tacos, quesadillas, and nachos.

The Cure Violence team outside of the Neighborhood Innovation Center in Downtown Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Neighborhood organizations were on hand touting the growing momentum in Dutchtown and recruiting neighbors to get involved. DT2 • Downtown Dutchtown, Cure Violence, Thomas Dunn Learning Center, and Dutchtown South Community Corporation all helped to spread the word about neighborhood programs and resources.

Chip Smith of Cross Grand along with the Easter Bunny in Downtown Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

On Saturday, Cross Grand brought the Easter Bunny to Downtown Dutchtown for photos with kids and adults alike as shoppers and neighbors continued to stroll Meramec. The warmer weather brought even more shoppers to the district on the second day of the event, including many new visitors to the neighborhood.

Volunteers clean up Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.
A volunteer picks up trash at Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Marquette Park Cleanup

Earlier on Saturday, several neighbors gathered at Marquette Park for some spring cleaning. Volunteers donned gloves and grabbed their grabbers to tackle some of the trash that accumulated over the long winter. With spring springing, the park got a much needed cleanup before the busy season begins.

Neighbors at Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Marquette Community Day Kickball Tournament

The Marquette Community Day Kickball Tournament was scheduled for Sunday, March 28th. But with sustained high winds and stronger gusts, the weather was a little too tough for the friendly games.

So the games were postponed until April 11th. But the day was still sunny, and with a DJ on hand and bratwursts and chicken wings ready to cook, neighbors still decided to make the most of the day.

Kickball at Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

A couple of impromptu, unsanctioned games took place between teams who arrived early. The players will have a competitive advantage when the official tournament happens now that they’re familiar with the quirks of the fields at Marquette.

A mother and daughter fly a kite in Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Meanwhile, the hero of the blustery day was a visitor who brought several kites to the park and shared them with the kids (and adults) still in attendance. Pilots took to the open hill next to the Field House and their kites effortlessly took off and glided across the sky.

Neighbors dance to music at Marquette Park in Dutchtown, St. Louis, MO.

Music and barbecue smoke filled the park as a few dozen neighbors continued to brave the chilly winds. Kids played together, adults danced together, and even the teenagers appeared to enjoy themselves.

Later in the afternoon, a couple of high-level amateur teams took to the Marquette Park soccer field for a match. Fans gathered around the fringes of the park to take in the game, a regular occurrence on weekend afternoons in Marquette. Allies of Marquette Park have long pushed for improvements to the heavily used pitch, and hopefully some significant investment is on the horizon.


So, that’s what happened in Dutchtown this past weekend. We hope you were there! But if you missed it, you can always make the most of a weekend on the South Side by visiting our unique shops, patronizing our restaurants, or relaxing in our park. Keep an eye on the Dutchtown events calendar for more special events, or just come visit anytime!

By the way, there’s a bunch more photos on the DutchtownSTL Flickr page. See more photos from the sidewalk sale, Sunday in Marquette Park, or just browse around.

Shop Downtown Dutchtown on Friday, March 26th and Saturday, March 27th! Neighborhood merchants, pop-up vendors, non-profits and more will be on Meramec Street offering new inventory, special deals, information, resources, and more!

Come to Downtown Dutchtown to visit your favorite shops and explore new businesses. Find new, used, and vintage clothing, home decor, beauty products, housewares, toys, and more! Plus we’ll have kids’ activities including face painting and more. Spend a day with the family discovering Dutchtown!

Participating Businesses

Non-Profit Organizations

Business and organization hours may vary.

Have you listened to MizEducation, the new Dutchtown-based podcast? Dutchtown neighbors LaTasha Smith and Staci Lindsey host the weekly podcast discussing all sorts of issues important to St. Louis city residents.

In a recent episode of the podcast, MizEducation spoke with Joel Silliman, the block captain on the 4200 block of Louisiana and one of the leaders of the effort to organize blocks in Dutchtown. Joel, Tasha, and Staci discussed the origins of their block organizing efforts, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and how residents across the neighborhood and beyond can work to organize their neighborhoods to build a stronger community.

How Do I Organize My Block?

So what does it take to organize your block? We’ve put together a guide to help you interact with your neighbors, keep them communicating and engaged, and plug into neighborhood resources. If you need more help getting started, Joel and other volunteers are ready to help walk you through the process and adapt to the needs of your block.

You can find out more about block organizing and reach out to our organizers at dutchtownstl.org/blocks.

Where Can I Find the MizEducation Podcast?

New episodes of MizEducation come out every week. You can listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, and Google Podcasts. Past episodes have featured discussions with St. Louis mayoral candidates Tishaura Jones and Cara Spencer, Sal Martinez of Employment Connection and Cure Violence, and Heather Fleming of In Purpose Educational Services. Lots of new topics and guests are on the way!

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.