AZ Local Impact Fund Raises $60,000, Grants Awarded to Four Local Businesses 

AZ Local Impact Fund

The AZ Local Impact Fund today announced it has raised a total of $60,000, and the funds will be divided equally among four Arizona businesses in order to provide financial support during COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients are Integrative Touch for Kids (ITK), Blue Willo Catering, Armored Outdoor Gear and a trucking repair company that wishes to stay anonymous. The fund was led by LeadMD, the world’s leading performance marketing consultancy, and local donors. The effort was managed in partnership with Invest Southwest and StartupAZ Foundation.

“Impact starts at home, so we created the AZ Local Impact Fund to provide some financial relief to businesses in our own backyard,” says Justin Gray, founder and CEO of LeadMD. “The organizations that were selected not only represent solid, Arizona-based economic drivers, but have been agile in the face of hardship and quickly pivoted their business models in response to COVID-19. These funds will help them retain their employees and continue to contribute to the local community.”

More than 450 businesses applied for the grant. The four organizations are all local Arizona-Based businesses which were selected based on specific criteria, including longevity, perseverance, breadth of impact and their ability to retain their employee headcount. They also needed to share how COVID-19 has specifically impacted their business as well as how the funds would be used to create a long-lasting impact.

These four grantees were selected by a committee of local leaders and Invest Southwest board members. Each will receive $15,000 to direct toward their respective efforts.

  • Integrative Touch for Kids: A Tucson-based nonprofit that works with children with special medical needs and their families. In response to hospitals halting visitors, the organization recently launched telehealth programs to provide families and children with online therapy, support and touch-training, and friendship connections while they’re isolated in hospitals or at home.
  • Blue Willo Catering: Based in midtown Phoenix, Blue Willo is a meal prep delivery service that also caters for schools and corporate clients. In response to COVID-19, the company changed its business model from catering schools and corporate events to offering lunch and dinner meal prep for families.
  • Armored Outdoor Gear: Headquartered in Flagstaff, the company manufactures lightweight stainless steel mesh bags, packs and covers to protect food and gear during outdoor adventures. The funds will help the company as it switches to manufacturing medical face masks during the crisis.
  • AZ-based trucking repair company: This business will use the funding to build a mobile services stop to provide relief for the influx of supply train truckers who are struggling to find places to sleep, shower and get basic needs, while also keeping their employees working by manning this new service station.

“The funds from the AZ Local Impact Fund are critical for Integrative Touch for Kids because they are helping us to pivot and create a telehealth program for vulnerable children and their families,” says Shay Beider, founder and executive director of ITK. “Kids in the hospital and those who are sheltering in at home don’t need to feel so frightened or alone right now thanks to this funding.”

LeadMD is the number one performance marketing consultancy in the U.S. Launched in 2009, LeadMD empowers marketers to drive revenue and customer success. The company focuses on people, processes, and technology that create predictable and sustainable revenue for high growth and enterprise brands. LeadMD has helped thousands of brands improve and deliver value through strategy and proven tactics that work.

Invest Southwest is the premier organization for connecting investors with the best and brightest ventures in the region. In addition to providing valuable information on topics important to the investment community, Invest Southwest offers year-round opportunities for investors to connect with emerging growth companies. Its signature event, Venture Madness, is a unique competition presented in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority. Venture Madness pits thoroughly evaluated, emerging companies against one another in a head-to-head competition to crown the champion of champions.

StartupAZ Foundation is a nonprofit formed in 2015, to empower a stronger statewide ecosystem for high-growth companies to scale, catalyzing Arizona’s new economy rooted in technology and innovation. The nonprofit organization exists to help Arizona’s most innovative startup companies improve their leadership, performance, and connections, while inspiring generosity and philanthropy within their communities. It does this through three primary pillars: connectivity, capital and talent.

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