We know that many in our community will be hit hard by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. In an effort to simplify locating emergency assistance and aid, we have put together this comprehensive list of resources and assistance programs to help small businesses, employers, our workforce, and the vulnerable members of our community.
Resources for Families and Individuals
Arizona Area Agency on Aging - will help Seniors who are unable to access groceries, please call 602-264-4357 or click to visit https://www.aaaphx.org/program-services/24-hour-senior-help-line/
Brown Bag Program for Seniors - the Town of Gila Bend provides free food distribution for residents in need each Thursday. Please call their Senior Services Coordinator, Erika Amezcua at 928-683-2244 for details about this program.
Southwest Gas - For customers experiencing financial hardship, we are here to help with flexible payment options. Call to speak a Customer Service Rep at 877-860-6020
or visit https://www.swgas.com/en/contact-us
Arizona Unemployment Insurance Benefits -
Unemployment insurance benefits may be available to individuals who are involuntarily unemployed as a result of COVID-19. The amount of the benefit will vary based upon the amount of money that the individual has previously earned, but will be between $187 and $240 per week.
You can learn more at www.AZUI.gov(link is external) or by watching this video(link is external). To file for unemployment insurance benefits, visit www.azui.gov(link is external), and click on the button titled “Apply for UI Benefits".
Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Employee Paid Leave Rights
Requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. Read more at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
Resources for Businesses
Arizona State Executive Order 21: Prohibiting Small Business Eviction
Although many commercial landlords have already taken action to delay or defer rents, without action, public and private entities that provide essential functions such as healthcare, food, and medicine are at risk of being locked out and their operations interrupted; and without action, the economic impact of COVID-19 will have a greater impact for a longer period of time.
Unless a court determines otherwise, a commercial eviction action including lockout, notice to vacate, or, any other attempt to inhibit the operations of a business shall be temporarily suspended.
Commercial landlords shall consider deferring or adjusting rent payments for commercial tenants that are unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to waive late fees, penalties and interest associated with late rent payments and develop rent repayment plans for those tenants unable to pay rent due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial tenants need to notify their landlords if they are experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19. If the commercial tenant is receiving financial assistance from public programs designed to assist businesses suffering financial hardships, must apply a portion of that assistance to any past or due rents. Read the Executive Order 21 here.
AZ Dept of Economic Security (AZDES) Shared Work Program - Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the UI Shared Work Program.
This program gives employers an alternative to layoffs and allows the retention of trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Visit Arizona Shared Work Program to learn more.
The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program is an alternative for employers faced with a reduction in force. It allows an employer to divide the available work or hours of work among a specified group of affected employees in lieu of a layoff, and it allows the employees to receive a portion of their Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits while working reduced hours. The Shared Work Program is not available to an employee unless the employer for whom the individual is currently working reduced hours completes an application which then must be approved by the Department of Economic Security.
An approved Shared Work Plan is valid for one year and an employee may be eligible for up to 26 weeks of Shared Work benefits.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Employer Paid Leave Requirements
Requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. Read more at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave
Help for Small Businesses through Small Business Administration - Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:
Provides up to $2 million in loans to support small businesses that suffer economic injury from disasters. It is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). On March 16, Governor Ducey requested the SBA issue a disaster declaration for Arizona’s small businesses affected by COVID-19. After the Governor’s Declaration Request is approved business owners should apply online in the Disaster Loan Application Portal at The electronic loan application will be screened by the Disaster Processing Center when it is received.
Below are the requirements so business owners can prepare.
1) Loan application (SBA Form 5), completed and signed (this is electronic/online in the portal)
2) Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506-T), completed and signed by each applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member; and, for any owner who has more than 50 percent ownership in an affiliate business. Affiliates include, but are not limited to, business partners, subsidiaries, and/or other businesses with common ownership or management.
3) Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recently filed Federal income tax returns for the applicant business; an explanation if not available.
4) Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) completed, signed, and dated by the applicant, each principal owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business, and each general partner or managing member.
5) Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used)
All of these forms are available in the Disaster Loan Application Portal.
RETURN STRONGER - Arizona Guidelines for Reopening Businesses
Under an executive order signed Wednesday, April 29, 2020, beginning Monday, May 4, retail businesses can sell goods through delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, drive-up service, curbside delivery or appointment provided they establish and implement sanitation and physical distancing measures. On Friday, May 8, businesses can resume partial openings that incorporate social distancing and sanitation measures established by the United States Department of Labor or the Arizona Department of Health Services. Read or download the guidelines.
May 4, 2020
Retail businesses permitted to do curb-side, delivery, drive up/through, walk-up.
May 8, 2020
Businesses resume partial openings, but must incorporate CDC Guidelines for social distancing, and sanitation/disinfecting measures. This includes licensed Salon/Cosmetology. All openings are voluntary. Read or download the Guidelines for Barbers/Salons/Cosmetology.
May 11, 2020
Dine-in establishments can operate. Dine-in guidance can be found here. All openings are voluntary.
July 9, 2020
Revised guidance and updates to dine-in businesses have been imposed to protect public health and safety. Highlights of the requirements include: limiting capacity to 50%, elimination of indoor standing room for patrons, maintain 6 feet between tables/parties unless plexiglass or glass partitions can be used. There are many more updates, so please read the full EO 47 here.
As the Governor provides updated information about returning, the Gila Bend Chamber of Commerce will continue to provide the information that pertains to businesses and COVID19, as quickly as possible.