The Women's Business Center at the YWCA of Southern Arizona offers business coaching, courses and workshops and the organization is responsible for awarding grants for small businesses that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. 

Small businesses and nonprofits in Tucson and the city of South Tucson that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 can apply for grant funding through the city of Tucson's We Are One/Somos Uno Resiliency Fund starting Friday, July 31. 

The small business grants which total $2 million are being administered through the YWCA of Southern Arizona's Women's Business Center and will be awarded in amounts between $2,500 and $10,000. 

The application will be available in both English and Spanish and preference will be given to businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, members of other underrepresented groups and owners who are disabled.

The application and all requirements can be completed on the YWCA's website

Eligible businesses must have fewer than 50 employees, cannot have received PPP, EIDL (excluding the EIDL advance), or Rio Nuevo Emergency Relief Funding and must be able to demonstrate economic hardship or loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic. The grants must be used for operational expenses such as rent or payroll. 

Business owners can apply online and are asked to be prepared with the following documents: personal ID, business taxes, business bank account, city of Tucson business license if required for their business type and bank statements for February though May 2020. 

For business owners who are not able to fill out the form online the YWCA can help with the application process by phone at 520-884-7810 ext. 7100. If a business owner does not already have a business account set up YWCA staff can also help guide them through that process. 

All types of small businesses are encouraged to apply, even if they still need to set up a business account and the YWCA is able to help provide free help throughout the entire process says CEO Magdalena Verdugo.

Verdugo says she has learned of other businesses offering to fill out the form for a fee on behalf of business owners and she urges people not to pay a fee but to utilize the free services from the YWCA. 

The YWCA is working to award the grants to applicants within 10 days of applying.

Grantees will also be able to take free business development offered by the Women's Business Center to help learn new skills and help their business thrive and grow. 

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona received $500,000 from the We Are One/Somos Uno fund and will be administering continuity grants for nonprofits operating in Tucson and the city of South Tucson for up to $20,000 to help continue their operations.

Requirements for these grants can be found at when the applications open. 

"Our city’s small, local businesses have been greatly impacted by the pandemic,” said Mayor Regina Romero in a news release. “Similarly, nonprofit organizations that do so much for our community have had to adjust to operating with limited resources. These grants provide the initial support our community needs to help propel local economic recovery.”

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