Gov. Doug Ducey announced that he is investing $5 million to launch the Back to Work Small Business Rehiring and Retention Program to aid small businesses harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and flooding.
On Friday, the governor said that the program would help businesses hire and retain employees. The program will fund up to $10,000 in expenditures for employee hiring/signing bonuses, relocation bonuses for employees that are moving to take an open position, and employee retention bonuses, according to a news release.
“Arizona’s small business community is resilient,” Ducey said. “From the effects of the pandemic to enduring storms that impact entire communities, small business owners and their employees continue to push forward and thrive.”
He said the program would give small businesses the resources to create jobs and opportunities in the state.
To be eligible, the Arizona small business must be owned and operated in the state of Arizona, incorporated before January 1, 2020, rent or lease a physical location in Arizona, and have between five and 25 total employees that work at the physical location, though eligible businesses in areas impacted by wildfires or floods may employ as many as 50.
The Small Business Rehiring and Retention Program, according to Ducey, is a new component of his “Back to Work” initiative announced in May, launched to encourage Arizonans to return to the workforce.
Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler, called the program a “win” for the grand canyon state’s small businesses.
“Effectively hiring and maintaining employees is crucial for the success of any business, but especially the smaller businesses,” he said. “This new program will help them continue to bounce back from the pandemic and extreme weather, and they’ll have the opportunity to expand operations.”
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