Grants still available for Phoenix small businesses impacted by light rail construction

Apr 2, 2024, 8:00 PM

Split-panel photo with David Herrera, owner of Comedor y Panadería La Tapatía, holding a giant $9...

David Herrera received a Small Business Financial Assistance Program grant to help Comedor y Panadería La Tapatía offset the impact of light rail construction in south Phoenix. (Valley Metro Photo)

(Valley Metro Photo)

PHOENIX – A grant program to help small businesses impacted by light rail construction in Phoenix is entering its fourth and final year.

The Small Business Financial Assistance Program (SBFAP), a partnership between Valley Metro and the city of Phoenix, has provided more than 200 grants totaling over $1 million since launching in 2021.

Locally owned small businesses along the South Central Extension/Downtown Hub construction corridor, including previous SBFAP recipients, can apply now for new grants between $4,500 and $9,000. The program ends at the end of the year.

“The grant was very helpful to our business. It helped pay our bills, including rent. Everyone should apply,” David Herrera, owner of Comedor y Panadería La Tapatía, said in a press release.

How can Phoenix businesses qualify for SBFAP grants?

Businesses must have 15 or fewer employees and an annual revenue under $750,000 to be eligible for an SBFAP grant. A list of other requirements and the application portal are available online.

Prestamos CDFI is the administrator for the SBFAP, which is funded through the voter-approved Phoenix Transportation 2050 initiative and the Phoenix Community Development and Investment Corporation.

“The program has made a profound difference in my life and my business,” Cerrone Burton, owner of Gallery Hair Experience, said in the release. “I am proud to say that, despite the challenges, the Gallery Hair Experience is not only still standing but thriving.”

Construction on Valley Metro’s South Central Extension/Downtown Hub started in 2019 and is expected to be finished in 2025. The project is adding about 5.5 miles of light rail track, with eight stations, along Central Avenue between downtown Phoenix and Baseline Road.

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Grants still available for Phoenix small businesses impacted by light rail construction