Phoenix Grants $14M for Small and Micro Businesses and Restaurants

City of Phoenix

The city of Phoenix is helping its small businesses, microbusinesses and restaurants to the tune of $14 million. With a new round of grants, the mayor and council are directing a portion of the city’s federal CARES Act funding into the hands of struggling Phoenix businesses through the Phoenix Small Business Resiliency Grants Program. The Resiliency grants include a second round for the Small Business Relief Grant and two new grant opportunities.

“Small businesses come in many shapes and sizes, and the city recognizes the demand for relief programs that account for this wide spectrum of needs,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “This is where the Small Business Resiliency Grants Program and Small Business Relief Grants come in.”

The Phoenix Mayor and City Council saw the need for additional support following the overwhelming response to the Small Business Relief Grant offered in partnership with the Phoenix IDA and the Arizona Community Foundation, which administered the grant program. More than 200 grants as high as $10,000 were given to small businesses in Phoenix.

One Program, Three Grant Opportunities

“The city has added an additional $14 million, on top of Phoenix IDA’s original $2-million-dollar allocation, to assist Phoenix’s small businesses during this global crisis,” said Mayor Gallego.  “This second round of (Small Business Resiliency Grants) funding also covers a wider array of business operations, including microbusinesses, and resources for restaurants that are safely reopening.”

The Small Business Relief Grant will once again be open to applications for awards up to $10,000. The new Phoenix Microbusiness Resiliency Grant awards up to $5,000 for microbusinesses and solo practitioners. The Restaurant Restart Resiliency Grant awards up to $10,000 for restaurant reopening costs.

To help as many Phoenix businesses as possible, businesses eligible for multiple grants can be awarded only one of these grants.

Small Business Relief Grant Round Two Funding

The Small Business Relief Grant, in this round, will help approximately 500 small businesses in low-income neighborhoods with grants up to $10,000 per business. The Phoenix City Council allocated $5 million in city CARES Act funds to the Phoenix IDA for the additional grants.

“The stories shared during the last grant application process showed the strength and determination of small businesses in this city,” said Juan Salgado, CEO of the Phoenix IDA. “It made the Phoenix IDA’s decision to provide the grants one of the most important contributions we’ve made to the community.”

The high response to the first round was the reason the city council renewed the grant partnership between Phoenix and the Phoenix IDA. Arizona Community Foundation will once again handle the administrative process

Qualifications for the Small Business Relief Grant remain similar to the first round. These grants are focused on low-income areas of the city, and are open to a wide variety of businesses that overlaps one or more of the new grant opportunities. Restaurants, hair salons, sole-proprietors in the target neighborhoods are eligible for the Relief Grant.

Businesses must be open since January 1, 2019, be in a Phoenix low-income census tract, and have had fewer than 25 employees as of March 1, 2020. Gross sales for the business must be less than $3 million in calendar year 2019 and the business must demonstrate that the Covid-19 pandemic caused sales to drop 25 percent or more between March and April 2020 when compared to March and April 2019.

Phoenix Microbusiness Resiliency Grant

With five or fewer employees, the microbusiness sector includes solo practitioners, entrepreneurs and early-stage startups. The grant is open to brick-and-mortar, home-based and mobile businesses based in the city of Phoenix. It includes microbusinesses located in another business, such as a salon chair rental, accountants, the self-employed, and similar businesses. A business based in a work-sharing office may also eligible.

There are other criteria for the Phoenix Microbusiness Resiliency Grant. The five or fewer employee maximum is based on business payroll as of March 1, 2020. A microbusiness must have been open since January 1, 2019, with gross sales of $1 million or less during calendar year 2019 and a physical or mobile location inside the city of Phoenix. Grant applicants must demonstrate that gross sales declined by 25 percent or more resulting from Covid-19, in March and April 2020 compared to March and April 2019.

The city-funded Phoenix Microbusiness Resiliency Grant has an $8 million fund, enough money to help more than 1,500 businesses with grants up to $5,000 per business.

Phoenix Restaurant Restart Resiliency Grant

Restaurants in the city of Phoenix may apply for the Phoenix Restaurant Restart Resiliency Grant up to $10,000 per business. There is no limit on calendar year 2019 gross sales or number of employees. The grant may be used to help offset the costs of opening doors to diners or putting a Phoenix-based food truck back on the road by September 1, 2020. The restaurant or food truck must have been operating in Phoenix since January 1, 2019.

The restaurant must have a physical location in Phoenix, and the mobile truck must headquarter in the city. Gross sales must have declined by 25 percent or more when comparing March and April 2020 with March and April 2019, due to Covid-19. The mayor and council allocated $1 million for this fund, which can help as many as 100 restaurants.

Phoenix Businesses Only

With this grant money coming from the city of Phoenix’s federal CARES Act funding, only businesses located in the city of Phoenix are eligible to apply. Find more information about the grants on the City’s website,, or call a member of the Phoenix Community and Economic Development team at 602-262-5040.

Although grants do not have to be repaid, grant awards may be subject to federal and state taxes. A business owner is well-advised to consult with accountants, tax advisors or financial professionals to learn how tax liabilities apply to grant funds.

Applications for the grants open on Thursday, May 21 and will be administered by the Arizona Community Foundation.

The Phoenix IDA through the Arizona Community Foundation funded more than 200 Small Business Relief Grants in the first offering in April and early May. To date, most grant recipients have received their awarded grant funds.

“We believe the Phoenix IDA has a role to do what it can to help our Phoenix businesses as they faced heart-wrenching decisions because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Salgado. “It is our mission as part of the Phoenix community to help in situations like this.”

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