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Tempe awards $1.2 million in COVID aid to small businesses

(Rocket A Go-Go Photo)

PHOENIX – The city of Tempe said it awarded $1.2 million in grants last week to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic and retain or increase staffing.

Nearly half of the funding went to businesses in the hospitality industry, the city said in a press release Wednesday. The second-largest portion, 13%, went to health care and social assistance operations.

In all, 183 of the 230 Tempe-based businesses that applied received grants.

Applicants could seek funding of $1,300 per full-time employee, up to $10,000 per business. The average award was for $6,880.

Businesses had to make under $5 million in gross annual receipts and employ between one and 100 workers to apply. Adult-oriented businesses and marijuana dispensaries were not eligible.

Stormy Dodge and partner/mother-in-law Rox Dodge, who own the Rocket A Go-Go rockabilly clothing shop at Mill and Southern avenues, were among grant recipients.

“It was such a sign of relief when we found out we got the grant,” Stormy Dodge said in the release.

“This means job security for our employees and will allow us to consider expanding our business into the space adjacent to ours. That could mean hiring additional people in the future.”

Tempe recently made $2 million available to residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who need help paying their mortgage or rent.

The East Valley suburb also offers coronavirus assistance programs for food, utilities and other needs that can be found on the city’s website.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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