Beginning today, Gov. Doug Ducey's administration and the Local First Arizona Foundation will accept applications for a new grant program that aims to provide $10 million in financial assistance to small businesses across the state.
The Arizona Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief Grant program will focus on helping local businesses that had to close their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s office is partnering with the foundation in order to facilitate the disbursements.
“The partnership leverages the grantmaking experience and small business expertise of Local First Arizona Foundation, which has already distributed over $2 million in grant funds to small businesses across the state of Arizona, to continue their work of putting small businesses on a path for recovery,” said Local First Communications Manager Maria Lopez in a press release.
The grants will provide up to two months of rent or mortgage payments for small businesses headquartered in Arizona that were directly impacted by the governor’s Executive Order 2020-43, which shuttered gyms, fitness centers, bars, nightclubs, indoor movie theatres, water parks and tubing operators in response to the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state.
Qualifying businesses can receive up to $25,000, and the money will be prioritized for businesses that are struggling the most to meet their financial obligations and do not have access to other financial support, the release states.
In order to be eligible for this grant program, businesses must have been operating in Arizona prior to Jan. 1, 2020; must be directly impacted by the executive order; must be renting or leasing a physical location outside the owner’s personal residence and must be employing fewer than 50 workers.
Each business owner can only apply for one grant. In order to apply, owners are encouraged to provide rent or mortgage statements for June through October, income source information, attestation of cash on hand and/or attestation of good standing with the Arizona Department of Revenue.
The grant program will give preference to businesses that are the primary or sole source of income for its owners.
The application process opened this morning. Interested individuals can fill out an application at www.localfirstaz.com/azsmallbizrent.