The grant, which is part of the city's $11 million, three-phase program focused on supporting Gilbert businesses and residents hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, is meant to support Gilbert businesses experiencing financial hardship due to mandatory pandemic-related closures.
The Arizona Community Foundation will administer the grant applications. Businesses that qualify may be eligible for a grant of up to $35,000 based on their demonstrated positive financial impact on the community.
Financial impact and potential grant award amounts are estimated using a web-based impact calculator. Qualified businesses must complete the impact calculator and submit the results with their online relief grant application.
Applications will be accepted until Dec. 17 or until funding is depleted. The relief grant qualification details and a link to the online application can be found at www.gilbertaz.gov/bizprograms.
The town previously established a microloan program with Desert Financial Credit Union.
Technical assistance opportunities
In addition to opening the grant applications, Gilbert has contracted with three companies to offer technical assistance opportunities to businesses and residents.
First, the town is rolling out a cooperative marketing tool, known as Hownd, to assist businesses with customer acquisition.
Surveys of local businesses on the tools and resources they needed found that attracting new customers was a top priority. Local businesses interested in increasing foot traffic to their store through gift card purchases will be able to do so through Hownd. More information is available at www.gilbertaz.gov/bizprograms.
Local First Arizona, an economic development organization and coalition of more than 3,000 locally owned businesses, will assist businesses by providing one-on-one technical assistance; pandemic-specific, small-business group training sessions; and a specialized restaurant boot camp workshop series for Gilbert restaurants.
CO+HOOTS, an entrepreneur support organization, will partner with Gilbert to launch the #GilbertTogether HUUB, a robust, co-branded digital platform to support local governments in revitalizing small businesses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the #GilbertTogether HUUB, business owners will have access to engaging and relevant webinars that will provide on-demand solutions, peer-to-peer groups and the ability to book on-the-fly sessions with top advisors and consultants.
In addition, CO+HOOTS will offer a four-week cohort program for entrepreneurs interested in launching business concepts through their Level Up Incubator. The #GilbertTogether HUUB is expected to launch Dec. 15. Learn more about the #GilbertTogether HUUB Platform with CO+HOOTS and sign up for a free account by visiting www.joinhuub.com/gilberttogether.