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Top Small Business Grants in Arizona

Arizona Small Business Grants
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanUpdated October 27, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Arizona has about 640,000 small business owners who can apply for small business grants. Submitting an application and competing for Arizona small business grants can help you grow your small or medium-sized enterprise in the Grand Canyon State.Arizona’s economy has a gross domestic product of $458.9 billion as of 2022. That’s the 18th largest GDP in the United States out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Small businesses contribute to the nation’s economy.Small and medium-sized firms exported about $6.1 billion worth of goods from Arizona in 2021, which ranks 19th in the nation out of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau export data.Below we highlight some of the top small business grants in Arizona that you can explore.

Grants for Small Businesses in Arizona

If you’re looking for small business grants in Arizona, here are some potential options to consider:

Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Facilities Grant

  • Program description: This grant can help you cover some of the costs of using the Arizona State University Core Research Facilities.
  • Incentive: Eligible companies can receive matching grants of up to $50K providing discounted access to ASU’s Core Research Facilities.
  • General requirements: Here are some of the general requirements for this grant:
    • Be a small business based in Arizona or relocating to the Grand Canyon State
    • Be in good standing with the Arizona Corporation Commission and other regulatory bodies
    • Moving toward the commercialization of innovative technology or a scientific solution to a marketplace issue
    • ASU Core Facilities research aligns with the semiconductor and hard materials space
    • Be an eligible business structure, such as a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership
    • Sole proprietorships are not eligible
    • Have at least two but no more than 29 full-time employees
    • Companies may not have more than $10 million in net assets, which does not include capital from investors
  • How to apply: Contact ASU’s Core Research Facilities before submitting any Arizona Advanced Manufacturing Facilities Grant applications.

Arizona State Trade Expansion Program (AZSTEP)

  • Program description: The Arizona Commerce Authority offers STEP grants that can help you export your goods and services from the Grand Canyon State to foreign markets.
  • Incentive: Receive AZSTEP assistance to participate in international trade shows and expos. AZSTEP can help you export your goods and services to Mexico and beyond.
  • General requirements: Arizona small businesses seeking to enter export markets for the first time or expand into new markets may be eligible for AZSTEP assistance.
  • How to apply: Contact the Arizona Commerce Authority if you’re interested in participating in AZSTEP.

City of Mesa Business Export Assistance Program (BEAP)

  • Program description: This program can provide eligible small and medium-sized businesses in Mesa with financial assistance to attend training seminars, trade shows, and sales missions.
  • Incentive: Qualified Mesa companies can receive up to 50% reimbursement for eligible expenses associated with trade show participation and export training seminars.
  • General requirements: Here are some of the general requirements for this reimbursement program:
    • Be a company headquartered in Mesa, Arizona
    • Submit an application at least 30 days prior to the start of your reimbursable activity
    • Submit proof of seminar completion, trade show attendance, or any other documentation after completing the approved activity
    • Reimbursement is only allowed for preapproved items, including registration and service fees 
    • Reimbursement for travel or other incidental expenses is not allowed
  • How to apply: Contact the City of Mesa’s Office of Economic Development if you wish to apply.

Phoenix Flash Grants Program

  • Program description: Phoenix Flash Grants provide funding to local artists, art collectives, and organizations as they expand their practices and programs in underinvested areas of Arizona’s capital city.
  • Incentive: Receive merit-based awards between $1,000 and $3,500 supporting an art-based activity, such as festivals, exhibitions, performances, or educational art programs.
  • General requirements: Here are some of the general requirements for this grant:
    • Be based in the City of Phoenix or Maricopa County 
    • Produce an in-person cultural festival in Phoenix serving mainly Phoenix residents​
    • Have a connection or relationship to the area where the project is proposed to take place
    • Be one of the following applicant types: 
      • 501(c)3 organization
      • Arts and culture LLC with a prior income below $250K
      • Arts collective
      • Individual artist or culture worker
      • K–12 school
      • Youth group
  • How to apply: You can submit your Phoenix Flash Grants application through the city’s online portal.

Town of Pinetop-Lakeside Façade Grant Program

  • Program description: This matching grants program provides funding to commercial property owners who complete façade improvements on buildings in the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside.
  • Incentive: Be reimbursed up to $2,500 for implementing eligible façade improvements, such as landscaping or visual enhancements to a commercial property.
  • General requirements: Here are some of the general requirements for this grant:
    • Be a local service business or commercial property owner in the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside
    • Propose a façade improvement project that complies with the town’s building codes, sign regulations, zoning ordinances, and any other regulations
    • Meet with a member of the town’s Community Development Department to discuss the project before formally applying for the grant
  • How to apply: You can request the Façade Grant Program application at Town Hall or download a copy from the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside’s website. Complete and submit your applications to the Community Development Department.

Who Provides Small Business Grants in Arizona?

Local and state government agencies, including the Arizona Commerce Authority, offer a variety of small business grants in Arizona.You can compare small business grants in Arizona with similar programs in other states, such as:

Do You Have to Pay Back a Small Business Grant?

A small business grant typically comes with terms and conditions, and you may be responsible for paying back the grant if you violate those terms. In general, small and midsized business owners are not required to pay back an SMB grant absent any violations.You typically have to sign a funding agreement to accept a small business grant. As mentioned above, the grant may come with certain conditions. Using the grant for an illegitimate purpose may violate the agreement and require business owners to pay back the grant.Small business grants may require you to spend the money by a certain date. You may also have to provide proof of payment and a written statement detailing how you’ve spent the grant.Recommended: How To Get a Small Business Grant

Who Is Eligible for Small Business Grants in Arizona?

Local business owners or operators of an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees may be eligible for small business grants in Arizona.The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy generally defines a small business as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. A small business, including individuals with freelancing business ideas, may be eligible for small business grants.

What Industries Does Arizona Support With Grants?

Arizona offers a variety of grants supporting the following industries:
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Information technology
  • Medical technology
  • Performing arts
  • Renewable energy
  • Restaurants and other eating places
  • Retail trade (store and nonstore retailers)
  • Semiconductor

Arizona Resources for SMB Owners Looking for Funding

Here are some resources for small and medium-sized businesses looking for funding in the Grand Canyon State:

Arizona Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Arizona SBDC is a statewide program that can provide Arizona’s small business owners with the following services:
  • Confidential business counseling at no cost
  • Market research
  • Workshops and training courses

SBA District Office in Arizona

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that provides resources and support to small business owners. The SBA’s Arizona District Office serves the entire Grand Canyon State with a main office in Phoenix plus satellite offices in Show Low and Tucson.

Alternative Funding Sources for Small Businesses in Arizona

Here are some alternative funding sources for small businesses in Arizona:

Arizona State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)

Arizona’s SSBCI is a federally funded program for small business owners in the Grand Canyon State. Federal law — the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 — allocates more than $111 million to Arizona’s State Small Business Credit Initiative program.Here’s how Arizona plans to use the SSBCI funding:
  • Arizona Multi-Fund Venture Program — $50 million. This program will help eligible startups access venture capital.
  • Arizona Venture Co-Invest Program — $37 million. This program will provide eligible startups and underrepresented businesses in Arizona with direct SSBCI equity capital alongside matching private sector investment.
  • Arizona Loan Guarantee Program — $24.03 million. This program makes it easier for Arizona startups to qualify for small business loans by providing guarantees of up to 50% of unpaid principal on enrolled loans.

Arizona Microloan Lenders

Community-based nonprofits may offer microloans of up to $50,000 to small business owners in Arizona, including microloans for women-owned small businesses. In general, microloans can range from $500 to $50K and may be available to startups.

Arizona SMB Loans from Private Lenders

Banks, credit unions, and private lenders may offer different types of small business loans to Arizona business owners.Here are some of the funding products you may consider depending on your needs:

Find Small Business Financing With Lantern

If you need funding to grow your business, Lantern by SoFi can help. Just fill out a simple form and find the right financing for your business.Lantern can help you find fast funding for your small or medium-sized enterprise.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get a small business grant in Arizona?
How hard is it to get a business loan in Arizona?
What is the easiest SBA loan to get approved for?
Photo credit: iStock/JLco - Julia Amaral

About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes about personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and other personal finance topics for Lantern. He’s the recipient of more than 10 journalism awards and served as a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists board member. An alumnus of the Philadelphia-based Temple University, Abdur-Rahman is a strong advocate of the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
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