Governor Doug Ducey is committing an additional $5 million to help Arizona small businesses recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic and extreme weather conditions.
Governor Ducey launched the Back to Work Small Business Rehiring and Retention Program in August and has invested a total of $10 million in the program to support small, locally-owned businesses. Recipients of the first round of funding have been identified and distribution of funds has begun. Today’s additional funding from the Governor will fulfill outstanding requests from applicants.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Arizona’s economy, and we’re dedicated to helping them fully recover,” said Governor Ducey. “I’m optimistic today’s additional investment will help small businesses around the state bounce back from the countless challenges of this past year and build for the future. I thank the small business community for their resilience and their continued efforts to help Arizona emerge out of the pandemic stronger than ever.”
This year, wildfires, storms and flooding impacted small businesses’ operations and employment opportunities. The Small Business Rehiring and Retention Program is designed to assist small, locally owned or operated businesses hire and retain employees and continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic and extreme weather conditions, like wildfires and flooding.
The Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a recipient of the first round of funding. The Center works with clients to help them achieve independence and develop the skills needed to go to work, go to school and actively participate in society.
“Our team is thrilled to receive funding that will help us continue to support and empower Arizonans experiencing vision loss,” said Steve Tepper, executive director of the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and member of the Governor’s Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment. “Visually impaired individuals and their loved ones deserve to have access to effective resources and programs — and our incredible staff makes sure they get the help they need. My thanks goes to Governor Ducey for supporting the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and our efforts to help those with vision loss achieve their full potential.”
The program will fund up to $10,000 in expenditures for employee hiring/signing bonuses, relocation bonuses for employees that are moving to take an open position, and employee retention bonuses.
An Arizona business must meet certain eligibility requirements to receive funding. A business must be: owned and operated in the state of Arizona; incorporated before January 1, 2020; rent or lease a physical location in Arizona; and have between five and 25 total employees that work at the physical location. Eligible businesses in areas impacted by wildfires or floods may have up to 50 employees.
The Small Business Rehiring and Retention Program is a component of Governor Ducey’s “Arizona Back to Work” plan, which supports Arizonans getting back to work and filling the thousands of jobs available across the state.