Retail stores, restaurants, bars, and events across America have been devastated by the impact of COVID-19. The Historic Fourth Avenue Business District is a microcosm of the entrepreneurs hardest hit by the pandemic.
Absent of local fans, tourists and enthusiasts, many small businesses are just hanging on by a thread. Yet, the Fourth Avenue Foundation Inc. has thankfully secured a last-minute $455,000 Pima County – Back to Business grant to help support the recovery efforts of the business district.
According to Daniel Matlick, president of Fourth Avenue Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, “It took a herculean effort to complete all the grant goals and CARES Act requirements in what was a very short six-week time period. However, with unprecedented cooperation between Pima County, City of Tucson, volunteers and local suppliers, products for safety and infrastructure improvement were delivered quickly.
Financial relief payments were issued to approved North Fourth Avenue Merchant Association recipients in less than seven days.
While just the first step in the recovery process for the business district, the relief grants provided rent, electricity and Internet expense reimbursements. Other programs offer up-to-date coronavirus information from the Arizona Department of Health and enhance the outdoor environment to support a safe and healthy return to business.