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Tucson Councilman calls out Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute for accepting Federal aid

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 01:36:02-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Councilman Steve Kozachik stands by what he says is the city's record of helping small businesses.

"We knew that it was important that we help small, local businesses and that's the reason we put a million dollars into direct investment to local businesses through our 'COVID' money."

The city allocated some of that money, $1 million, for small-businesses to use as a relief fund for their employees.

"If we get more cares dollars we're going to go back to the well again and try and do it one more time."
Kozachik will even give you a history lesson on the City's relationship with small business.

"We have a history of supporting small, local businesses. A couple of years ago, we put in a policy that would have allowed us to give preference in bidding to small local businesses."

That didn't happen, a lawsuit filed and won by the Goldwater Institute put a stop to that program.

In 2014, the Goldwater Institute called the City's proposal 'discriminatory.'

The decision didn't set well with Kozachik and recent headlines that Goldwater took Federal aid from the 'Paycheck Protection Program' was enough to compel him to speak up.

"The Goldwater Institute is benefitting from exactly the kind of subsidy that they have sued us over, and won, saying that we can't support small businesses, locally, but Goldwater will go off and take a subsidy from the government in a very hypocritical manner."

According to a memo from Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, Goldwater was provided with between $350,000 and $1 million in Federal aid.

For his part, Kozachik said he'll focus on more proactive objectives.

"I think what we'll do is we'll keep our focus on the way that we can support local businesses and point to hypocrisy where it exists."

The President and CEO of the Goldwater Institute, Victor Riches, provided a statement to KGUN9 on accepting PPP funds which read, in part:
"As free marketeers...we will never be opposed to individuals and businesses getting their hard-earned money back from Washington.
...like other businesses and nonprofits, the Institute accepted a Paycheck Protection (PPP) loan for the purpose of offsetting employee payroll costs during the global pandemic.
As with a tax cut, the PPP loans return money to the private sector that should never have been taken from the American people in the first place."