Arizona Launches Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief ProgramPat Fontana
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect individuals and businesses across the country, Arizona also continues to deal with the challenges presented by the outbreak. Businesses have had to halt operations or severely restructure their business model, and many are struggling financially. To provide some aid to those businesses most severely affected by the pandemic, Arizona has launched a Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief Program.
Executive Orders Continue
In June, Governor Douglas A. Ducey put into place an Executive Order that essentially shuttered many businesses, including:
- Bars whose primary business is the sale or dispensing of alcoholic beverages, although these entities may continue serving the public through pick up, delivery, and drive-thru.
- Indoor gyms and fitness clubs or centers.
- Indoor movie theaters.
- Water parks and tubing operators.
The Executive Order also prohibits organized public events of more than 50 people. The June order was extended at the end of July, to be reviewed every two weeks, and these businesses continue to be closed.
Arizona COVID-19 Cases
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases peaked in Arizona in July. Although the daily numbers are trending significantly lower now, there have still been over 207,000 cases in the state since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those who contracted the virus, over 5,200 people have died.
Help for Small Businesses
In response to the coronavirus crisis, $10 million provided by Arizona’s Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund will go toward assisting those businesses that have been required to pause their operations due to the pandemic. Through a partnership with the Local First Arizona Foundation, the newly developed Arizona Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief Grant program will help struggling small businesses meet their rent or mortgage obligations, with a focus on those most in need and without access to other resources.
In announcing the program, Governor Ducey stated, “This pandemic has forced Arizonans to make many sacrifices over recent months. These dollars are going where they can have an immediate impact — to help our families and businesses in need of support.” The governor added, “we want to continue to be there for all the small businesses that have given so much to our communities. I’m grateful to Local First Arizona and the many organizations working to support Arizona families and small businesses through this crisis.”
The program provides grants for up to two months of rent or mortgage payments owed by small businesses, including those gyms, fitness centers, bars, and water parks with fewer than 50 employees affected by the Executive Order. The maximum award is $25,000. Grants will be prioritized for businesses that are most in need of the funding to meet their rent or mortgage obligations and that do not have access to other financial support.
In addition, the Arizona Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief Grant program may be expanded by any city or county government with funds available to dedicate to the program. Interested governments may dedicate funds to the program that would then be granted to eligible small businesses within their jurisdictions.
Local First Arizona
The Arizona Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief Grant program is being administered in partnership with Local First Arizona, a statewide organization focused on community and economic development in order to build self-sufficient, healthy, and prosperous communities. The organization emphasizes that it is attempting to serve as many businesses mandated to pause operations due to the pandemic as possible but that the demand among affected Arizona small businesses is great.
Eligibility for the grant program is based on Executive Order 2020-43, which was extended by Executive Order 2020-52, restricting those businesses listed in the order. In addition, the small business must have been in operation in Arizona prior to January 1, 2020, employ less than 50 employees, and must be renting, leasing, or own a physical location outside the owner’s personal residence.
CONTACT CLEAR VIEW BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR HELP WITH YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
The experts at Clear View Business Solutions want to help your small business succeed. We work with you to help you understand your finances, especially how to maximize your profits and minimize your taxes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we can help guide you and your business through your specific challenges to help you ensure your business and financial success. Learn more about how we can help you and your business by contacting Clear View Business Solutions to speak to our team about our services. Give us a call at (520) 544-0177.