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CASA GRANDE — On Monday Gov. Doug Ducey announced the recipients of a competitive $1 million grant program allocated to chambers of commerce around the state, including several in Pinal County.

The competitive grant program hopes to implement or expand initiatives that support small businesses and accelerate local economic recovery.

The grant dollars come from the Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Response Grant Program established by Ducey last month.

“Arizona businesses have innovated and adjusted for months to operate safely while prioritizing public health,” Ducey said in a press release announcing the grant recipients.

According to the press release, chambers submitted proposals to the grant program to implement or expand any initiatives that support local businesses and accelerate local economic recovery related to COVID-19.

Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce, Coolidge Chamber of Commerce, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce were all recipients of the grants.

Despite applying, the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce did not receive the grant.

According to President and CEO Renée Louzon-Benn, it is unclear as to why Casa Grande was not awarded a grant.

Earlier this year the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce did receive federal CARES Act funding.

The grant allows for no more than $20,000 per full-time equivalent employee at a chamber, with a maximum award of $50,000.

The grant program was funded by the state’s Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund established in March through a bipartisan state budget agreement that added $50 million for Arizona’s COVID-19 response.

Thirty chambers of commerce will be awarded the grant dollars across the state.

According to the press release, the funding will be used for a variety of projects including: assisting small businesses with online branding and marketing when sales are moving online; providing micro-grants to small businesses for cleaning supplies and protective equipment; and more.

“Today’s grant funding will bring additional support to small businesses impacted by the pandemic, keep our economy moving forward and help protect public health and safety,” Ducey said. “I’m grateful to all chambers of commerce and businesses across the state that support our workforce and protect Arizonans.”


Gabrielle Olivera is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more.