Tempe small businesses and nonprofits can apply for COVID-19 aid - The Arizona Republic

Tempe small businesses and nonprofits can apply for COVID-19 aid - The Arizona Republic


Tempe small businesses and nonprofits can apply for COVID-19 aid - The Arizona Republic

Posted: 16 Oct 2020 03:05 PM PDT

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Tempe small businesses and nonprofits can get financial assistance through two new programs.

The city is offering $1.1 million in grants to bolster businesses facing slow sales in the new coronavirus pandemic. Another $500,000 was set aside to help nonprofits serving vulnerable residents. 

Funding for both programs comes from Tempe's cut of federal coronavirus aid. The city is using $8.2 million of the $22.5 million it received for business assistance, nonprofit aid, housing, child care assistance, counseling and to purchase protective gear and cleaning supplies.

Business grant to retain staff

Tempe businesses with 100 or fewer employees can apply for up to $10,000 in funding to help keep employees on staff.

The Tempe Small Business Grant Program is aimed at helping businesses in industries most impacted by mandated closures and restrictions related to the pandemic. It's the first business grant program the city has offered, although Tempe partnered this spring with Desert Financial Credit Union to offer low-interest loans to small businesses.

Businesses in the following categories are eligible to apply:

  • Accommodations and food services.
  • Health care and social assistance.
  • Retail.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation.
  • Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.

Businesses must be privately owned, have been in business in Tempe since Oct. 12, 2019 and have less than $5 million in gross annual receipts to qualify.

They must have a physical location in Tempe and commit to remaining in the city beyond April 30, 2021. Home-based businesses aren't eligible for the grant.

Adult-oriented businesses and businesses that grow, harvest or sell medical marijuana aren't eligible.

Businesses can receive $1,300 per full-time employee up to $10,000. Two part-time employees can be counted as one full-time employee.

The grant is being managed by the Arizona Community Foundation and businesses have until 5 p.m. Oct. 30 to apply online. Businesses will be required to submit tax and other financial records verifying the company's Tempe business address, such as a utility bill.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until the grant period closes or all of the money is awarded.

The city hopes to award up to 20% of the funds to minority, veteran and women-owned businesses.

Questions about the application process can be submitted to TempeBusinessGrant@azfoundation.org.

Free masks, supplies for small businesses

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The city also is providing small businesses with free masks and hand sanitizer as part of the city's Safety Supply Program.

Businesses with one to 20 employees are eligible for 50 reusable cloth masks, five clear masks and two 1-liter bottles of hand sanitizer.

Those with 21 to 100 employees are eligible for 100 reusable cloth masks, 10 clear masks and three 1-liter bottles of sanitizer.

The city has set aside enough money to provide supplies to up to 1,000 small businesses.

Businesses can register online to receive the supplies, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to register is Oct. 22 and registered businesses can pick up their items from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Tempe/APS Joint Fire Training Center, 1340 E. University Drive. 

Help for nonprofits

Nonprofits can apply for up to $50,000 to support programs that serve the city's vulnerable residents, or to reimburse the organization for costs incurred to provide services during the pandemic.

The money is intended to be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the impact of COVID-19 among low-income residents, people experiencing homelessness, seniors, people with disabilities, immigrant and refugee families, survivors of domestic violence and youth.

The support is for costs to provide food, transportation, clothing, legal assistance or social and emotional support to these groups.

Nonprofits that already have been aiding vulnerable residents during the health crisis can apply for money to reimburse eligible costs incurred since July 1.

The program is being managed by the city's Human Services Department. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Oct. 21 and applications can be submitted online.

Questions can be emailed to Ann Lynn DiDomenico, the city's social services supervisor, at ann_didomenico@tempe.gov.

Reach reporter Paulina Pineda at paulina.pineda@azcentral.com or 480-389-9637. Follow her on Twitter: @paulinapineda22.

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