What a challenging year this has been for everyone, both personally and professionally. The pandemic has hit our retail, restaurant, and hospitality sectors especially hard, and they’re still trying to climb their way back to profitability, but the road will be long.
Some much needed good news for residents is that Marana’s revenues have increased since this time last year. Our residential new housing market is especially strong, and we will set a new record this calendar year for single-family residential permits since before the Great Recession. Multifamily housing has also remained strong with a new Encantada development opening up at Cortaro Road and Interstate 10. Another luxury apartment complex will soon break ground at Marana Center by the same developer.
Although the hospitality sector is still heavily impacted by the reduction in hotel room demand, Home2 Suites will begin their development at Cortaro Road and Interstate 10 very soon. The commercial and industrial manufacturing market has also remained strong with multiple expansions going on within the town. New businesses have been, and will continue to be, popping up in Marana this coming year, including PSE Archery, Luke Dealership, PVB Fabrications, Southwest Gas and Ventana/Roche.
In addition, the town-owned land at the Marana Regional Airport was just rezoned, which will open up approximately 65 acres of commercial/industrial land. The first project to occupy this property will be the headquarters for a manufacturing company. There is also increased interest in corporate jet hangars at the airport.
Despite this good news about our housing markets in Marana, we understand the same is not true for our small businesses, who are hurting more than ever right now. For those new and existing businesses, we have developed an online portal with resources to assist in licensing, permitting and lending opportunities. If you’re looking to start a new business, the town offers a concierge service, where we will assemble a team comprised of town departments and utility providers based on your unique needs. The portal can be found at MaranaAz.gov/businessdevelopment.
For those small businesses struggling with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) expenditures and providing employees with COVID-19 safety measures, the Marana Town Council recently approved the development of a reimbursement program to ease the expense of these requirements. Once developed and approved, this program will be aimed at assisting with the ongoing purchase of PPE and other similar materials, as this is a significant and ongoing expenditure that is generally above and beyond the original scope of business expenses anticipated. We also list federal and state resources and COVID-19 guidance on our COVID-19 response page, located at the top of MaranaAZ.gov.
Helping our small businesses is incredibly important to preserving Marana’s economy, and when we help our small businesses, we help our neighbors, our friends and our families. Our overall increased revenues give us hope in this difficult time, and we are excited for our residents to see that come back to them in their roads, parks, and more, but we are not out of the woods until we see all of our residents through the path of recovery.
For more information on the Town of Marana’s Economic Development Department, please visit www.maranaaz.gov/economic-development.
Curt Woody is Marana’s economic development director