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Phoenix City Council Expands COVID-19 Grants Program For Businesses

Published: Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 12:47pm
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The Arizona Department of Health Services reported another 680 new cases of COVID-19 on Aug. 27. The statewide total has now surpassed 200,000 since the pandemic arrived in Arizona despite recent signs that new cases are on the decline. To date, 4,929 Arizonans have died, including 33 reported today.

Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties are poised to meet benchmarks for reopening some businesses in a limited capacity Aug. 27. Bars, gyms and other establishments closed under the governor’s orders must first spell out how they plan to mitigate further spread of the virus.

The state has created a hotline for the public to file complaints against businesses that do not comply — bringing back the question of enforcement.

Maricopa County officials have said their response to complaints about businesses will first focus on education before law enforcement gets involved.

The pandemic — and its related closures and job losses — has pummeled small businesses. In response, the federal government along with cities and states have been providing grants to assist those businesses in surviving.

On Aug. 26, the Phoenix City Council voted to expand its grants program. Among the modifications are that a business must have been open in Phoenix for at least 12 months and that the business must have seen its gross sales drop by at least 25% per month when compared to the same month in 2019.

The Show spoke with Christine Mackay, director of community and economic development for the city of Phoenix, for more about what's changing with the grants program.

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