The Rio Nuevo District Board launched a COVID-19 funding assistance program April 8, 2020 and has released the funds to struggling small businesses located within the District boundaries.

The District’s Economic Relief Assistance Program opened Friday, April 10th, closed Friday, April 17th, and received over 130 applications for assistance.

The Rio Nuevo Board has awarded 105 eligible businesses with relief funding. The Board was determined to expedite the process to ensure that funding was provided quickly to pay for immediate needs including payroll, rent, and utilities. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $50,000 based on the business’s revenue and tax generated. Rio Nuevo utilized non- tax dollars for the program, totaling well over one million dollars. This first round excluded District area service-related businesses. Several service business applicants expressed significant survival issues and, as a result, the Board will consider those requests on April 28th.

Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker stated, “The purpose of the program was to ensure that our District merchants received immediate funding. The Board believes that with this process it has achieved its goal and now we are able to put money directly into the District businesses during this unsettling time.”

In addition to directly funding District merchants, Rio Nuevo has provided SBA loan guidance to merchants, meeting with them to discuss loan and grant options. Rio Nuevo has also sponsored the Downtown Tucson Partnership gift card program which again puts money directly into our challenged businesses.

“The City of Tucson is grateful that the Rio Nuevo District is providing immediate relief funding to merchants within the District,” said Mayor Regina Romero. “Ensuring success within the District is a win for our entire community and will help with a comprehensive approach to our economic recovery. Thank you to the Rio Nuevo Board for their leadership”.

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