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Small businesses throughout Arizona looking for some financial assistance during the COVID-19 Pandemic can now look to Local First Arizona for help after the nonprofit launched its Small Business Relief Fund on Monday.

Businesses who employ up to three employees and generate less than $250,000 in annual revenue can apply for immediate assistance. Businesses must also be independently owned and operated (no franchises), and priority will be placed on business owners with children under 18 at home, as well as families that rely on their business as their sole income.

“It’s a devastating and uncertain time to be a small business owner in Arizona,” said Local First Arizona Founder Kimber Lanning. “Everything you love is on the line, but the community you’re ingrained in is still at top of mind. We are echoing the voices of small businesses across the state: debt is not a solution for our smallest businesses. We ask others to join us, the health of our local economy and state depend on it.”

Funds can be used to cover business expenses, employee salaries, and other operations. Applications for aid will be reviewed every week by regional review panels covering northern, central and southern Arizona. Within 7 days of review, applicants will be informed of their status.

If approved, a business will receive funding within five business days.

Initial sponsors of the fund include the Salt River Project and Jack Pfister Support Fund. Local First Arizona is also asking the public to contribute to the fund. Donations begin at $25.

"As a small business, we have very low cash buffers which leaves us facing a race against the financial battle for survival,” said Pop Cycle co-owners DeeDee Koenen, Shannon Riggs, and Jennifer Radler.

Apply for financial aid, or make a contribution, online by clicking here. (localfirstaz.com/small-business-relief-fund.)

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