In a partnership of the City of Tempe, the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, SCORE and One AZCredit Union, a Tempe Streetcar Asset Assistance program was announced in December of 2018. The purpose of the program is to provide low-interest loan opportunities to businesses directly adjacent to the streetcar route during construction.
The Tempe Streetcar project is a three-mile route that moves along Apache Boulevard then curves up Mill Avenue then east on Rio Salado. This loop is anticipated to include 14 sheltered stops and two connections to the existing Light Rail. With sustainability in mind, the six-vehicle fleet will be powered by hybrid battery while off-wire through the Downtown Mill Avenue Corridor.
Businesses along any part of this route that may be impacted by construction of the rail can apply for up to $20,000 of a low-interest credit line to help offset lowered business capacity during this time. To qualify, the business in need must have been in business two years, be adjacent to the construction route, independently owned and operated and meet the full terms of the credit line program.
The process begins with a free consultation with SCORE to help assist with initial planning and program qualification. Qualified businesses then establish their account and loan services through One AZ Credit Union, who has partnered in this program to provide the low interest rate of +2% prime and a term of 48 months of repayment.
The full project design for the Tempe Streetcar was approved in May of 2018, while funding was finalized in August of the same year. Currently, construction of the rail and utility relocation is in progress. The project is expected to wrap up in 2021, and will be set to handle 125 passengers with its ADA- and bicycle-accessible vehicles.
The Tempe Chamber of Commerce highlighted the Tempe Streetcar Asset Assistance program at its December Emerging Issues Forum and will continue to be a point of contact for businesses wishing to apply. For more information, contact the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.