Phoenix Considers Grants For Businesses Hurt By Light Rail

Published: Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 5:03pm
Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 8:05am

For the first time, Phoenix is considering offering grants to certain businesses hurt by light rail construction.

In 2006, construction began on the initial light rail line in Phoenix. A few years later, more construction got underway to build the first phase of the northwest Phoenix extension. That work killed some businesses that couldn’t convince customers to maneuver through torn up streets and detours. 

Now, as construction begins on two more extensions, Phoenix Light Rail Administrator Markus Colemen wants city leaders to approve a pilot program for locally owned businesses with 15 or fewer employees directly along the lines.

“So we’re really trying to really focus on the mom and pop businesses along those corridors, making sure that the money is getting to the individuals and those businesses that are most at need,” he told the city’s subcommittee on Nov. 4. 

If approved by the City Council, the one-year pilot would provide grants of $1,000 and $5,000 to qualifying businesses along the South Central and Northwest Phase II extensions. 

To be eligible, a business would have to meet the following:

  • Located on, or directly accessed from, project alignments.
  • Locally-owned.
  • 15 or fewer employees.
  • $500,000 or less in annual revenue.

Also, a business must be directly conducting with customers primarily on the construction alignment, which means businesses that do not sell directly to the public would not be eligible.

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