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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton awarded for small business advocacy

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)
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PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is a longtime advocate of small business – and his efforts have not gone unnoticed.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Partner America presented Stanton with the Small Business Advocate Award.

“When cities do well – and small businesses in those cities do well – the United States of America does well,” Stanton said. “The key to building a healthy and strong economy is supporting local businesses, lifting them up and helping them succeed.”

One of those small businesses in Phoenix is The Armory, a startup incubator for high-potential military veterans to access training, mentorship, resources and capital they need to launch and grow new, high-value startups.

“Mayor Stanton and the City of Phoenix Department of Community and Economic Development have been key to The Armory’s success,” said CEO Phillip Potter.

“From the outset, Mayor Stanton understood military veterans to be exceptional business leaders and key economic assets.”

When Leticia and Jose Gamiz needed guidance with their small business, a vegan-Mexican food truck, they took a workshop series through the Hive @ Central, Phoenix’s first business incubator. It offers 500 programs and has served more than 36,000 people since launching in 2014.

“The Hive offers more than a ‘business roadmap’—it’s like a GPS and a door that’s always open and full of services that businesses need that would normally be expensive,” Leticia said.

The city’s “Shop Local” policy also supports small business. The program sets aside all procurements of goods and general services under $50,000. It also limits competition for such bids to local small business enterprises whenever possible.

There’s also a 24-hour online permitting system and an export readiness boot camp.

All this support, Stanton said, is showing results.

“Last month, a new study showed that the Phoenix-area small locally-owned businesses led the country in wage growth.”

In Arizona, small businesses make up 99 percent of businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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