After a successful first year, the Small Business Financial Assistance Program (SBFAP) pilot will continue through 2024, which is the completion of the South Central Extension/Downtown Hub and Northwest Extension Phase II light rail projects. In its first year, the SBFAP granted over $360,000 to 62 businesses impacted by construction.
As the program enters its second funding year, both new applicants and those who received funding previously are encouraged to apply. In order to allow additional businesses to qualify, two of the requirements have changed:
- The annual revenue of a business must not exceed $750,000 (compared to $500,000 previously)
- The business must have been in business prior to the start of light rail construction (compared to one year prior to construction previously).
Businesses located adjacent to construction on Phoenix light rail projects can apply for up to $9,000 in direct financial assistance, depending on their eligibility. To view all eligibility requirements and apply, visit prestamosloans.org/valleymetro.
The program is funded through Phoenix Transportation 2050 and the Phoenix Community Development and Investment Corporation. Prestamos CDFI is the program administrator.
In addition to the SBFAP, Valley Metro also offers a number of free business assistance programs, including social media promotion, community events, accounting and financial planning, marketing assistance and more.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego understands that thriving local businesses are key to the city’s vibrant future – a future that includes a strong investment in public transit. “The extra income these grants offer can make an enormous difference in the lives of local business employers and employees during light rail construction,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “What originally started out as a pilot program has been so successful, it will continue through 2024.”
“Thank you so much for the grant,” said Albert Bahram, Crazy Jim’s restaurant owner and grant recipient. “This really has made a big difference during a rough year.”
“Small businesses are the heart of our community, and we will keep fighting for them,” said Phoenix Councilmember Carlos Garcia. “We hope that the extension of this program will ensure that businesses have additional support through this phase of construction.”
“With two years left of construction, I would like to ensure that we support our small businesses that are being impacted by light rail development,” said Phoenix Councilmember Yassamin Ansari. “From technical assistance to rent relief, these grants will allow businesses to build the cash buffer needed for a slower Phoenix summer. I encourage every business that hasn’t taken advantage of this opportunity to apply. My office is here to help.”
Source: Valley Metro