Tucson, Arizona, September 19, 2022 – YWCA Southern Arizona’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) was awarded City of Tucson’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funding and has now launched the first stage of its YSmall Business Continuity Grant Project.
The City of Tucson designated American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funding for the purpose of identifying and engaging local disadvantaged businesses negatively impacted by the public health crisis and providing small business development services and grant funds to allow business owners to invest in their businesses and expand capacity.
The WBC works to educate and empower women in their ventures to start and or grow their businesses. The WBC was awarded a total of $800,000.00 for regranting to small Tucson businesses. Additional training, mentoring, access to peer networks, and counseling services will also be provided as part of the program.
Gabriela Rosales, Program Manager of the WBC at YWCA Southern Arizona, has said that “the grant funding is a very great opportunity for small businesses in Tucson to continue their success.” The pandemic set forth mass layoffs, fragile financial states, and nearly half of small businesses reported extended closures. In Southern Arizona, and Tucson specifically, the number of small businesses that experienced extended closure is closer to about 70%. Without the support of grant relief funds such as this ARPA grant, many of these businesses may not have been able to re-open and resume business. The success of Southern Arizona small businesses is critical to economic vitality, community building, and distribution of resources.
The WBC has conducted a robust application selection process to identify Tucson businesses which could benefit from small business development services and grant funding. Moving forward, WBC will provide an initial intake/assessment to help guide each business towards services most aligned with their needs, as well as offering scheduled, bilingual courses and workshops which will lay a solid foundation of learning from which success and stability can be built. One-on-one coaching will be offered as needed, to reinforce these lessons. The WBC will award and distribute grants to eligible and qualified program participants. Selected businesses will be followed up with periodically after grant awarding, to ensure grants were used in accordance with the predetermined, eligible business use.
Isabel Georgelos, Director of the WBC at YWCA Southern Arizona, emphasizes that “Small businesses are vital to our economic health. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the City of Tucson to provide training, coaching, and TA to Small businesses that lead to much-needed infusion of capital.”
YWCA Southern Arizona has been a robust partner of the City of Tucson, specifically in efforts to support small local businesses. In 2020, the City of Tucson awarded YWCA Southern Arizona a nine (9) million dollar grant of pass-through funding. This funding was distributed as COVID-19 relief grants to small businesses with an emphasis on women and BIPOC owned businesses.
YWCA Southern Arizona’s work extends to community and supporting youth development. Our Pima County Teen Court program is a prime example of this part of our mission. Earlier this year, the City of Tucson also awarded an ARPA grant to Teen Court to support a pre-arrest diversion program. This program is in partnership with Tucson Police and several local Tucson school districts. The Deflection program is a direct result of ARPA funding and support from the City of Tucson. Youth who admit to arrestable behavior choose to participate in a Teen Court hearing where they are judged by a jury of their peers and sentenced to Teen Court constructive consequences. With the implementation of constructive consequences and peer influence, the program addresses the disproportionate minority involvement of youth within the juvenile justice system.
YWCA Southern Arizona is honored to carry out this mission and to contribute to the City of Tucson Small Business Continuity Program.
About YWCA Southern Arizona
YWCA Southern Arizona has served Tucson since 1917 with a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We believe the success of our communities depends on upholding equality, inclusion, and opportunity as fundamental values. YWCA provides integrated and bilingual community, leadership, and economic development programs, including workforce, family wellness, and social services that promote multi-generational solutions to end poverty and violence. Our overall goal is creation of sustainable, effective, and efficient means to place women and families more firmly and equitably in control of their futures.
Designate your Arizona Charitable Tax Credit to YWCA Southern Arizona: when you make a donation to YWCA, you can earn a dollar-for-dollar tax credit by taking advantage of the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit – up to $400 for single filers and $800 for joint filers. Donate online HERE or mail a check to YWCA Southern Arizona, 525 N. Bonita Ave., Tucson, AZ 85745. Qualifying Charitable Organization Code: 20570.
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