$10K COVID-19 Relief Grant Now Available for Phoenix Small Businesses

Rick McCartney

There is a new $10,000 grant to help with financial relief for small and very small businesses. Companies located within the city of Phoenix can apply for a Small Business Relief Grant of up to $10,000 from the Phoenix IDA in coordination with the City of Phoenix.

“Small business owners are hurting, and we’re offering assistance to businesses to keep employees working and meet basic operating needs,” said Juan Salgado, CEO of the Phoenix IDA. “Small businesses are the backbone of the Phoenix economy, and that’s why we’re investing in our local market.”

A fund of approximately $2 million is available which is enough money for about 200 grants. The Arizona Community Foundation will administer the program on behalf of the Phoenix IDA and city of Phoenix. The Phoenix IDA is a nonprofit public financing organization with a mission to provide access to capital to support community development. The Phoenix IDA focuses on helping fund development impacting vulnerable and underserved communities. This is one facet of its broad community development mission.

“Phoenix needs our small businesses to survive COVID-19, and these grants are one of the many tools the city is putting forward to help,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “For a small business, a $10,000 grant can make a big difference. We hope these grants can be a lifeline for the small businesses that, for so long, have served as the backbone of our economy.”

“It’s heartbreaking to listen to the stories of the pain people are enduring. The Phoenix IDA expended tremendous effort in making this assistance possible,” said Salgado. “We have a good working relationship with the Arizona Community Foundation, and are excited about serving our neighbors together.”

These community impact investment grants are offered to small for-profit businesses to keep employees on payroll and meet the necessary operating costs. The grants are being provided only for Phoenix-based enterprises. With the initial $2 million pool, approximately 200 grants can be offered.

The grants are targeted for small businesses located within or on a street bounding economically-challenged Census tracts in Phoenix. The Arizona Community Foundation has a map on its grant application website (AZFoundation.org/SmallBusinessRelief). Businesses in these areas often face the greatest challenges in seeking access to credit and capital. Where a Census tract divides a street, businesses on both sides of the street are eligible to apply.

Small businesses constitute a significant component of the 18,000 businesses based in Phoenix. More than 71 percent of the city’s businesses have fewer than 25 employees.

“Part of the Phoenix IDA mission is to find ways to help our business community when it’s challenging to obtain capital. This grant program is our small contribution to an economic resurgence in the city,” said Salgado.

Phoenix places a special emphasis on helping small businesses grow and succeed in all economic conditions. The Phoenix Community and Economic Development team works with companies large and small to help navigate regulations, expand, and provide assistance for recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining workforce. CED helps businesses with employee outplacement when layoffs are necessary.

Phoenix does not charge for these services.

The Phoenix IDA pursues investment opportunities resulting in job creation, business retention and expansion of homeownership. It is for this mission the entrepreneurial nonprofit organization is funding the grant program.

To qualify for a grant, a business must meet five requirements:

  • Opened for business within the city of Phoenix before January 1, 2019
  • Be located in a low-income census tract or on a street bounding a low-income census tract
  • Gross total sales declined 25 percent or more between February and March 2019 and February and March 2020.
  • No more than 25 employees on February 1, 2020
  • Gross total sales during calendar 2019 were under $3 million

Businesses will need to submit proof of requirement-compliance. Preference is given to businesses owned by veterans, underrepresented groups, and located in economically distressed areas of the city.

The Arizona Community Foundation, which is administering the grant program for Phoenix and the Phoenix IDA, values innovation, and its function with this grant program is part of its mission to encourage new ideas and pioneering practices that achieve community good.

For more information on how to apply, visit AZFoundation.org/SmallBusinessRelief.

About Phoenix IDA

‘The Phoenix IDA was founded in 1981 to serve as a conduit issuer of private activity bonds, create jobs, and further Arizona’s community and economic development. The organization is a political subdivision of the State of Arizona. It is overseen by a nine-member board of directors appointed by the City of Phoenix Mayor and City Council. The Phoenix IDA is a nonprofit organization that does not rely on taxpayer dollars. For additional information, please visit PhoenixIDA.com or follow @PhoenixIDA on Twitter.

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