Guest Editorial: Tempe Helps Small Businesses, Scottsdale Helps The Super Bowl

By Recker McDowell —

The city of Tempe and Desert Financial Credit Union have launched a new $1 million microloan program to help small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aims to help Tempe small businesses with between 5 and 50 employees with loans to help them meet payroll, pay rent and suppliers.

This is what Scottsdale should be doing — immediately.

Scottsdale needs to follow the path of Tempe and other cities who are stepping up and finding ways to help small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

Instead, Scottsdale has been slow to aggressively act. And that comes after the Scottsdale City Council approved a $1.2 million outlay for the Super Bowl coming to Arizona in 2023.

The Tempe loan program can help as many as 200 small businesses with microloans of between $5,000 and $20,000. Those businesses create jobs and are the life blood of local communities. Scottsdale needs to help its small businesses including reallocating that $1.2 million city outlay for the regional Super Bowl bid. The city also needs to take immediate and aggressive actions to aid the hard-hit tourism sector which employs 28,000 workers.

Super Bowl LVII is in 2023.

The clock is ticking right now for many small businesses (including restaurants) and their employees. Some are getting help from the U.S. Small Business Administration via the CARES Act stimulus program. But the $348 billion program’s first round of small business help has been exhausted and some other companies haven’t been helped yet.

While Congress and President Trump craft another round of small business and economic help, timing is running out on entrepreneurs, innovators and  more jobs.

The Coronavirus has resulted in 43 percent of U.S. workers losing their jobs or having their pay cut, according to the Pew Research Center. More than 22 million American workers have filed for unemployment insurance the past month with much of the economy at a standstill.

COVID-19 challenges cities across Arizona and the country to step forward and help small businesses and save jobs. Scottsdale needs to act aggressively. The city needs to look at its neighbor for that path.