Mayor Regina Romero and the Tucson City Council recently approved $1 million in CARES Act funds to help small businesses with utilities. The Small Business Utility Assistance grant program is accepting applications now.
Eligible businesses must have faced economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Preference will be given to small businesses that did not receive assistance from other programs and to businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans, disabled, and otherwise disadvantaged groups to increase the equitable dispersion of grant funds throughout the City of Tucson.
“Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and many have had to make tough financial decisions to keep operations going during the pandemic,” said Mayor Romero. “Providing aid to pay outstanding utility bills can help alleviate some of the stress of running a business during this challenging time and allow business owners to keep serving our community.”
The Women's Business Center of the YWCA Southern Arizona will administer the Small Business Utility Assistance Grants. The grants will provide up to $4,000 to pay electric, water, gas, sewer, and trash utility bills. The grant will not cover cable and telephone bills. Grants will be awarded directly to utility companies under the business’s account to cover delinquent bills.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees within the City of Tucson or City of South Tucson are eligible to apply. Applications and eligibility requirements will be available in English and Spanish at ywcatucson.org.
“Through our programs, we get to see the drive and passion of our City’s small business owners, most which are trying to survive the effects of the pandemic day-by-day,” said Magdalena Verdugo, CEO of the YWCA of Southern Arizona. “From limited capacity at restaurants to a reduction in orders because of the economy, small businesses are fighting to stay open. We are thankful the City has partnered with us to get much-needed assistance in the hands of struggling businesses.”