The I Choose Chandler Business Hiring and Retention Program will provide qualifying businesses with $1,300 per employee retained or hired since Dec. 31, 2019, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per business.
“We are excited to provide some financial relief to small businesses in need,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said in a news release. “Chandler businesses are adapting and finding new ways to serve our community, but we know many of them are struggling. Our hope is that this grant program will help Chandler businesses as they navigate these challenging times.”
The city was given $29.98 million from the state in coronavirus relief funding. Chandler City Council elected to spend a portion of that funding—about $9.5 million—on this program.
The Arizona Community Foundation is administering the program for the city of Chandler. Starting Aug. 17, qualifying businesses will be able to submit applications online through the ACF’s website.
The program prioritizes businesses in industries most affected by COVID-19, based on unemployment insurance claims and state-ordered restrictions on certain business types. To qualify, businesses must meet all of the following criteria:
- The business must be classified as operating within one of these industries, according to the North American Industry Classification System’s two-digit codes:
- accommodation and food services (72)
- health care and social assistance (62)
- retail trade (44-45)
- administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (56)
- manufacturing (31-33)
- arts, entertainment, and recreation (71)
- The business must be private, for profit and located in the city of Chandler.
- The business must have 100 full-time equivalent employees or fewer, including all commonly owned/managed businesses.
- The business must agree to submit a copy of its December 2019 IRS Form 941 (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return) and the latest quarter’s Form 941 showing employee hiring and retention verification.
- It must not affiliated with another business under common ownership/management that has applied for the job retention/hiring grant.
- The business cannot be home based, and the business must own or lease nonresidential property.
- If the business leases a property, the business must commit to remain in Chandler through Dec. 31.
- The business must have been in operation prior to March 11, the date of Gov. Doug Ducey’s emergency declaration.
- The business must be registered with the city of Chandler; businesses can register here.
"There are no restrictions on the funding," Chandler Economic Development Director Micah Miranda said. "It can go toward rent; businesses can pay employees with it. It's why we structured this program the way we did—to provide as much flexibility to the businesses as possible."
The industries on the grant criteria list were those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent business disruptions and revenue losses, Miranda said.
"We wanted to make it as easy as possible for businesses to participate," Miranda said. "We want to get through all the funds as quickly as possible."
If funding remains after the initial application period closes Sept. 7, Chandler businesses in other industries may be invited to apply. For details on the application process and its requirements, visit azfoundation.org/icc or chandleraz.gov/icc.