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Some small brick-and-mortar businesses in Oro Valley eligible for grant money

Posted at 6:46 AM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 09:46:33-04

ORO VALLEY, Ariz. - Small brick-and-mortar businesses throughout the country have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic and in Oro Valley, some of those businesses are getting assistance.

Susan Swan is the owner of Swan Pilates. She bought the business in 2018 after years of teaching at the studio.

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Just like many others, she never planned for what 2020 was about to bring on.

“Certainly in my business plan for 2020 I didn’t include PPE," said Swan.

When the pandemic first ramped up in Arizona, Swan told KGUN9 she closed her doors for the sake of the health and wellness of her staff and customers.

“We immediately pivoted to doing online sessions, our clients are absolutely wonderful, they’ve done ZOOM with us," she said.

Months later, when Swan was finally able to reopen, there were new expenses she now had to account for, and that is where the town of Oro Valley has come in.

The town received $5.3 million in CARES Act. funding, according to Assistant Town Manager Chris Cornelison.

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Cornelison told KGUN9 town officials decided to allocate $1 million of that funding to help small brick-and-mortar businesses with three different kinds of expenses.

“Our small businesses can receive some financial reimbursement for either one on one coaching professional services or PPE as well as some marketing," he said.

The reimbursements for each category are up to $500, meaning a business is eligible for $1,500.

To qualify for the assistance a business must be within Oro Valley town limits, have a brick-and-mortar location in Oro Valley, and employ less than 50 full-time employees.

Swan said the assistance has meant the world to her and her clients who can continue showing up to pilates classes through the pandemic.