The Rio Nuevo board passes $2.5M stimulus package to help small businesses stay afloat

Rio Nuevo board passes an up to $2.5M stimulus package to help small businesses
Posted at 10:10 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 17:45:17-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- More help is on the way for small businesses.

The Rio Nuevo board passes an up to $2,500,000 stimulus package to help small businesses stay afloat.

Rio Nuevo District Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker says revenue is tanking for small businesses because of the mandatory shutdown order.

“It’s an unbelievably difficult time for small businesses...particularly restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, they're basically dark. They have no idea when they are going to reopen. You know some of these are not going to survive,” said McCusker.

So, he and the board felt they needed to step in to help.

“We approved up to $2,500,000 for immediate stimulus grants to our district merchants. We estimate there’s about 315 small locally operated businesses within Rio Nuevo that have immediate issues,” the Chairman told KGUN9.

The next step will be launching an application process, where business owners can apply for a one time grant to help them survive.

That is, until the federal dollars come in.

“We didn’t put a limit on the dollars request and we’ll deal with that on a case by case basis,” he added.

At this point the board passed the package, encouraging the city to consider matching the stimulus .

“I believe their intent is to go back and talk to the mayor and council and look at their issues they’ve also gotta deal with,” said McCusker.

Until then McCusker says it’s all hands on deck for the board as they try to keep businesses afloat during these trying times.

“We are hopeful that we all come out of this together. Rio Nuevo, feels obligated to help, and we will do whatever we can economically to help these businesses we helped launch survive this,” he said.

McCusker says application forms and instructions should be on the Rio Nuevo website by 4/8/20.

For more information on how you can apply for a grant that you do not have to pay back, click here.

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