PHOENIX — An additional $5 million to help Arizona small businesses recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic and extreme weather conditions was earmarked by Governor Doug Ducey on Thursday. The money will go into the Back to Work Small Business Rehiring and Retention Program which was launched in August.
Recipients of the first round of funding have been identified and distribution of funds has begun. This additional funding will fulfill outstanding requests from applicants.
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.
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.