Small businesses across Arizona have lost federal dollars to larger companies in urban areas — that is no secret. Lack of access to SBA-partnered community banks limited opportunities for many. Local First Arizona is proud to join forces these three partners to distribute grants — not loans — to businesses across the state.
- BHP: $250,000 donated to provide immediate assistance to micro-businesses across Pinal and Gila Counties.
- Alliance Bank of Arizona: $100,00 donated to provide immediate assistance to Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff micro- businesses.
- South 32: $75,000 to provide immediate assistance to micro-businesses in Santa Cruz County. Businesses in that area can apply: https://www.localfirstaz.com/santa-cruz-county-sbrf
“Just because small businesses are reopening doesn’t mean they’re on a clear path to recovery. Only around 86,000 Arizona small businesses have received help from the federal government. We are a state made up of over 500,000 them. There is so much more work to do,” says Local First Arizona Founder Kimber Lanning.
“Arizona’s Community banks, such as Alliance Bank of Arizona, have outperformed the big banks in assisting small businesses with their Payroll Protection Program applications and funds. So for Alliance to also contribute such a generous amount to small businesses is remarkable. It’s above and beyond”, Lanning said.
“On top of over two months of lost profits, many businesses need to purchase new safety equipment, renegotiate leases, rehire staff, remarket, and in the case of restaurants, operate at half capacity. These grants are reaching the hands of small business owners in a critical time when many are struggling to get going. There is a lot at stake,” she added.
The LFA Small Business Relief Fund received initial support from Salt River Project, Phoenix IDA, Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, APS, twenty-seven companies representing Greater Phoenix Leadership, and hundreds of individual donors loyal to local resilience. Together, they raised over $1.3 million dollars to provide grants in $1,500 – $2,500 increments to nearly 500 family-owned businesses: those with only 0-3 employees.
Founded in 2003 by Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona (LFA) is a community and economic development organization working to strengthen local economies. LFA educates consumers about the interconnectedness of the economy, trains small businesses to be more effective and more competitive, helps larger Arizona businesses and institutions tell their story as champions of Arizona, and creates programs and events that make it fun and easy to discover local businesses and buy local.