Success Grants Program

Description

AZHCC Small Business SUCCESS Grants

Arizona small businesses need relief now! As you are aware, we are a small business state ripe with opportunities for those brave enough to launch an entrepreneurial endeavor. We know from the last recession that it was small minority-owned business, particularly those owned by Hispanic women, that kept the economy going during the most difficult of times. Again, we find ourselves in the gravest of circumstances and with an urgent need to infuse financial remedy into our small businesses due to the hardship caused by the necessary COVID-19 response.

According to a recent study by the JP Morgan Chase Institute, most small businesses only have two weeks of “float” or cash buffer. There are over half of a million, small business in Arizona and 125,000 are Hispanic with over half of those having female ownership. The current SBA low-interest relief loans and grants will be helpful to some small businesses but woefully overlooks the most vulnerable of small to micro businesses, incapable of taking on loans or able to wait for grants to trickle down. Minority-owned businesses make an average annual revenue of $110K while non-minority owned businesses make $500K. Yet, minority-owned businesses grow 3 times faster than any other segment. The result is many businesses that have not yet scaled to create sustainability. If we do not act now, it is likely that these businesses will close their doors permanently.

PROPOSED SOLUTION

AZHCC Small Business SUCCESS Grants would focus on different funding sources looking to direct funds into the hands of smaller and micro businesses. Disbursement of grant funds will be on a rolling basis, a maximum of $1,000 weekly and limited to six weeks. Total maximum grant of $6,000 per business.

We believe this will be especially appealing to financial institutions of all kinds who want these small and micro businesses to succeed and continue as financially solvent customers.

AZHCC would steward funds with a 3rd party validator, our partners at Raza Development Fund, through an IT platform to maximize output and expedite disbursement.

The goal is to create a safety net for businesses that is turnkey and allows them to stay in business, retain employees, and provide products/services through alternative delivery methods through the COVID-19 crisis. These grants are in addition to any federal stimulus package funding and/or SBA loan funding. The AZHCC program is meant to be a bridge to low-interest loan opportunities and avoid turning to predatory lending option in desperation.

PROCESS

  1. Funding partners will deposit allocated funds into AZHCC C3 designated account.
  2. AZHCC will handle all communication materials regarding the fund and will collect all data on grantees in real time.
  3. Small business applies for grant fund via brief online intake application, answering critical questions about basic business demographics, function/description, time in business, average annual revenue, weekly gross payroll, alternative product/service dissemination (ecommerce site, retail by appointment, delivery service, etc.)
  4. Third party validator will review information as it is received. These experienced underwriters will request tax returns and/or any relevant documentation (i.e. payroll stubs, bank statements, etc.) if necessary. This will be made as easy as possible by online submission of scanned documents, photographs of documents, etc. This partner will also record intake and output of funds.
  5. The funds will be disbursed on a first come, first serve basis without exception until all grant money is disseminated. Companies need only apply once for 6-week disbursement (assuming funds are available) however, they will be asked for weekly updates on business.
  6. AZHCC will use data collected to develop webinars and training for these businesses to expand distribution channels to online methods, sustainability measures and prepare financials for traditional lending (thus avoiding predatory lenders)/SBA relief loans.
  7. AZHCC will report data to participating funders as a record of impact on investment every 3 weeks including businesses that stayed open, new business strategies implemented and jobs retained/created. If possible, video testimonials will be created of businesses.

This could be a national best practice for states across the country. It delivers a solution today and provides small businesses time to adapt to what may very well be, our new reality.

REQUEST

Any and all funds are welcome for immediate disbursement. As a c3 and c6, we can receive funds through your operations and/or foundation budgets. In our commitment to the AZHCC Small Business SUCCESS Grants program, one hundred percent of funds will be passed through directly to those in need.

We also require programmatic funds to support the grantees through the 6-week bridge period. Depending on the business needs, this will include consultation on kitting up financials in anticipation of traditional lending, pivot strategies for business, diversification of products and services, alternate delivery methods, online and ecommerce development and other opportunities to adjust to a new way of doing business.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 602-294-6086 Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to working with you to help small businesses today!

Best,

Mónica S. Villalobos


President & CEO

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


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