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Valley Metro and Phoenix city officials last week launched a one-year pilot program to provide financial assistance to small businesses located next to light-rail construction in the South Central Extension and Northwest Extension Phase II project corridors.
The Small Business Financial Assistance Program (SBFAP) is intended to support and help sustain small businesses affected by Valley Metro's light-rail construction. The funds can be used to offset business operational expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance or payroll, Valley Metro officials said in a press release.
The total $2.3 million in funding comes from Phoenix Transportation 2050 and the Phoenix Community Development and Investment Corp. Last week, Valley Metro’s rail board approved a contract with Prestamos CDFI to administer the pilot program.
The SBFAP currently offers two tiers of financial assistance that can be applied for annually. In Tier I, businesses can receive $3,000 during the pilot year or they can opt to apply for Tier II where they can receive up to $9,000.