COVID-19 Business Resources
The Surprise Economic Development Department is committed to providing relevant and reliable information on a variety of resources and programming to all COVID-19 impacted businesses in our community. Information on this business resource page has been organized by a number of important topics and is subject to changes because of regularly posted updates.
- Financial Assistance
- Free Assistance
- Executive Orders
- Business FAQ
- Safe-to-Reopen Toolkit
- 100-Day Plan
Maricopa County Small Business Relief Program Grant
Available Starting July 6 through July 31
Get Ready, Surprise Businesses! Starting July 6, local businesses may apply for up to $10K from the Maricopa County Small Business Relief Grant Program to recover COVID-19 expenses/losses. To assess your qualifications, prepare for application questions, & gather required documentation, read more...
PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
The U.S. Small Business Administration has released the application and instructions for how Paycheck Protection Program borrowers can see their loans forgiven. The application includes a worksheet that details how to calculate the amount of the loan that can be forgiven and provides a summary of costs eligible for forgiveness. The SBA also provided a list of documents borrowers have to submit with their forgiveness applications. Learn more…
CARES Act Readiness Program for Small Businesses – available in English en espanol!
The Arizona Small Business Association and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to create the CARES Act Readiness Program for Small Businesses (www.caresactaz.com). This online training program helps small businesses access the capital they need, helping both novice and experienced borrowers successfully access relief funds with have individualized support to apply for loans.
The CARES Act Readiness Program for Small Businesses provides this individualized support for free. The program is customized to the business owner’s borrowing experience. It provides 2-5 online classes that will walk businesses through everything from the basics of finance to submitting loan applications.
Contact Laura Ciscomani from the AZ Chamber of Commerce at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19.
The CARES Act assists small businesses in the following ways:
Paycheck Protection Program: This program is now closed to applications as of June 30, 2020. Zero-fee, low-interest small business loans up to $10 million. Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of 500 employees or that meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500, any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location and sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons are eligible to apply. View Program Information...
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): EIDLs are loans of up to $2 million that carry interest rates up to 3.75 percent for companies and up to 2.75 percent for nonprofits, as well as principal and interest deferment for up to 4 years. The loans may be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses. With the Governor’s emergency declaration, every county in our state is eligible to receive relief through EIDL grants. Visit the SBA Guidance and Loan Resources page for more information and to apply.
SBA Emergency Economic Injury Grant: $10 billion in funding to provide an advance of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) within three days of applying for the loan.
The grant does not need to be repaid, even if the EIDL request is denied. EIDL can be used to provide paid sick leave, maintain payroll, meet increased production costs, or pay business obligations like rent or a mortgage.
Visit the SBA Guidance and Loan Resources page for more information and to apply.
SBA Express Bridge Loans: If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
SBA Debt Relief: The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis. Under this program:
The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
Visit the SBA Guidance and Loan Resources page for more information and to apply.
For program questions or assistance in completing the SBA application online, businesses may contact the following:
SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955.
SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) www.score.org
Arizona’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) https://www.azsbdc.net/where-we-are/locations/
Main Street Lending Program: The Federal Reserve has announced that it is establishing a Main Street Lending Program to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Program will operate through three facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF), the Main Street Priority Loan Facility (MSPLF), and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF). Learn more…
Better Business Bureau Main St. Matters Micro Grant: BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest is proud to launch Main St. Matters, a program that will offer emergency grants in the form of $500 or $1,000 awards for businesses who have been financially impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to learn more and to apply.
A-frame sign policy temporarily amended
Beginning, Monday, March 30, 2020, businesses in the city of Surprise will be allowed to display an A-frame sign along the adjacent roadway or roadway closest to their business subject to certain requirements. This is a temporary action due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the requirements…
Startup Space App
Startup Space, the online platform for startups and small businesses offered by city of Surprise through AZ TechCelerator, is offering national support for its users including a list of resources and organizations that are offering various types of support for entrepreneurs and small business owners during the coronavirus outbreak and will be updated as information becomes available. View the full list of resources...
SizeUp Small Business Tool
The Economic Development Department is excited to provide a free resource to help businesses who are starting out, looking to expand, or working to stay ahead of the game with key market information. The easy-to-use online tool assists nearly any business compare their fundamentals with other like businesses, identify customers and suppliers, and take advantage of opportunities for more efficient marketing. Launch SizeUp Small Business tool…
Governor’s Executive Order “Pausing of AZ Reopening – Slow the Spread of COVID 19”
As part of continued efforts to reverse the trend of COVID-19 spread in Arizona, on Jun e29 Governor Doug Ducey signed an Executive Order to prohibit large gatherings, cease the issuance of new special event licenses and pause the operations of bars with a series 6 or 7 liquor license from the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (these entities may provide take-out and curbside service), gyms, movie theaters, waterparks and tubing rentals. The pause of these business operations takes effect at 8:00 pm, Monday, June 29 and is in effect until July 27, 2020.
Prohibiting mass gatherings statewide
Effective June 29, 2020, even if appropriate physical distancing is possible, organized events of more than 50 people are prohibited. The Executive Order enables local governing jurisdictions, such as the city, town or county, to approve events on the condition of meeting certain safety precautions, such as physical distancing.
Suspending special event licenses
Under the Executive Order, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control shall cease issuing special event licenses for the period between June 29, 2020 and July 27, 2020.
Governor Ducey Announces Enhanced COVID-19 Action Plan
Following COVID-19 case increases and hospitalizations, on June 17, 2020 Governor Doug Ducey announced enhanced actions to contain the spread of the virus and protect Arizona’s most vulnerable residents. The announced actions build on Arizona’s substantial efforts to boost testing, expand contact tracing, secure PPE for health care and frontline workers, fast-track resources to the most affected areas and more. Additional actions announced include the following guidance for businesses:
Increasing awareness of distancing and face-covering guidelines
Following outbreaks in select parts of the state, including along the southern border and in northeastern counties, ADHS today released updated guidance allowing local governments to implement mask and face-covering policies and determine enforcement measures. The guidance allows local authorities to tailor mitigation efforts specific to the local public health need.
Enhancing guidance to limit congregating
Arizona’s Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger Executive Order issued on May 12 requires businesses and other entities operating in the state to implement health and safety plans to protect workers and customers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Updated guidance issued today by ADHS requires specific health measures be taken by establishments, including:
- Physically distancing of 6 feet;
- Providing employees with face-coverings and requiring usage;
- Conducting symptom checks for all employees before shifts;
- Requiring sick employees to stay home;
- And increasing the frequency of employee hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting.
Local law enforcement will have authority for enforcement of these guidelines.
Governor’s Executive Order "Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger"
On May 12, Governor Doug Ducey announced that the Stay At Home order in Arizona will be ending on May 15 and replaced by new guidance for the next stage of economic recovery. Arizona’s new Executive Order, which takes effect on Saturday, May 16, builds on Arizona’s comprehensive efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health, including public health guidance for businesses and individuals to ensure continued physical distancing.
The Arizona Department of Health Services also released additional guidance for businesses and customers as more industries resume partial operations. This guidance includes:
Pools, with physical distancing and enhanced sanitation - can reopen Wednesday, May 13 | Read the Guidance
Spas, with physical distancing and enhanced sanitation - can reopen Wednesday, May 13 | Read the Guidance
Governor’s Executive Order for Resuming Additional Business Operations for Barbers, Cosmetologists and Dine-in Restaurants
Effective Friday, May 8, 2020, barbers and cosmetologists may resume operations provided they establish and implement protocols and best practices for businesses to address COVID-19.
Do you have other questions not answered below? Visit SBA’s Frequently Asked Questions for Lenders and Borrowers page and download the latest PDF. Be sure to check back frequently for updated Q&A.
- Q: Can I use my PPP funds to pay my employees bonuses?
A: Yes, the SBA guidance allows employers to pay employees bonuses, hazard pay or extra compensation so long as their total salary does not exceed $100,000 on an annualized basis for the funds to still qualify for forgiveness. However, bonuses paid to owners, self-employed people and general partners with PPP funds are not eligible for forgiveness.
- Q: I received a PPP loan but my lender has since sold my loan to another entity. Can I still achieve forgiveness?
A: Yes. SBA allows lenders of PPP loans to sell the loans they process to other SBA lenders. The PPP loan buyer assumes responsibility for servicing the client so contact your new loan holder for ongoing questions and processing. Full SBA guidance for lenders regarding the sale of PPP loans can be found on the SBA’s PPP website under Additional Guidance For Lenders. Learn more…
- Q: I received a PPP loan. How can I make sure I can achieve loan forgiveness?
A: Visit U.S. Small Business Administration application and instructions website to download the PPP Forgiveness Instructions and Application and to learn more. While the country is still waiting for the official guidance to be published by the SBA, an article in the Business Journal shared a few tips from experts on how businesses can achieve PPP loan forgiveness. The article’s advice is summarized:
- Utilize as much of the PPP money as you can to help the business during the 8-week period (you have through June 30 to spend it).
- Bring back as many employees on payroll as possible. Even if you are not able to bring employees back, the fund can continue to pay them.
- Replace employees who decline to return to work and who prefer unemployment* (as an aside, we are hearing that documenting offers to return unwilling employees to the workforce is critical to the loan forgiveness process, especially if you’re unable to easily replace someone).
- If your full loan amount exceeds your expenses, leave the money in a savings account to pay it back once the term of forgiveness period is over.
- If the loan can’t be forgiven in the end, it’s still an attractive loan at 1% interest. Begin planning how much to save to give back and how much to keep as a traditional loan.
- Consult with your legal and financial advisors to determine your best plan forward.
View the article
- Q: The recent Executive Orders require “additional sanitization precautions” for my business to stay open. What does that mean?
A: Arizona Department of Health Services has published guidance for business to prepare for COVID-19. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices, among other resources on their COVID-19 page.
- Q: I’m a restaurant looking to promote my curbside sales. What are my options?
A: There are a variety of new and popular digital options available that you may have already heard of, some you may not have:
- Q. I am a business who can help manufacture essential products. Who should I contact?
A. Email the Arizona Department of Health Services at HEOC@azdhs.gov with a description of your capabilities and how your company can help.
- Q. I am a business who wants to wants to provide free or reduced cost services to the community. Who can I contact?
A. If your scope of free or reduced cost service consideration is to the local or most vulnerable populations within our community, please contact Seth Dyson with the City of Surprise Human Services and Community Vitality Department at email@example.com.
If your scope or free or reduced cost service consideration is regional or statewide, email the Arizona Department of Health Services at HEOC@azdhs.gov with a description of your capabilities and how your company can help.
- Q: If my business is deemed “essential” and not required to close, am I still eligible for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program
A: Yes, all small business under 500 employees are eligible.
- Q: Can I use the SBA Paycheck Protection Program to rehire staff I’ve already let go?
A: Yes. PPP funds may be used to hire staff let go on or after February 15, 2020 a result of COVID 19 restrictions.
- Q: I’m a tenant in my building and I need help understanding my options through this challenging time. What resources can you provide me?
A: While we recommend you consult your commercial leasing agent for your specific needs, tenant representation subject matter experts at Keyer have compiled the Top 10 Answers Every Tenant Needs to Know About COVID-19.
- Q: I’m a landlord of a multitenant building and I need help understanding my options through this challenging time. What resources can you provide me?
A: While we recommend you consult your legal advisor and lender to help understand the entirety of your options, here are some key points of recommendation:
- Work with your tenants to minimize damage and preserve your assets.
- Be open to negotiating with your tenant, if possible. This doesn’t mean waiving your right to get paid, just understanding that it could be costlier to lose a tenant than keep the one you have.
- Have effective communication in writing – always.
- Have incident reporting procedures established.
- Be familiar with your lease terms.
- Be familiar with your lender requirements especially with regard to material changes to leasing agreements
- Be familiar with your insurance coverages including impossibility of performance and force majeure.
Surprise Business Safe-to-Reopen Toolkit
3 Steps to Re-Opening Your Business: the 3 C’s
As you prepare to re-open your business safely, we understand this is an important time to rebuild consumer confidence and demand. However, we know there is a lot of information out there. Let’s keep it simple and remember the THREE C’s!
Clean: Maintain a sanitized environment, familiarize yourself and your staff with guidelines, prioritize staff health, wellness and hygiene, and prepare your business for reopening and operations!
Coordinate: Recognize the reality of reopening; take precautions with food and product safety; maintain proper social distancing guidelines; get ahead of reordering products and supplies.
Communicate: Make a plan with your leadership team; use ALL of your resources! Don’t forget – your resources include a local Economic Development Department that would enjoy helping you with a virtual ribbon cutting, virtual small business assistance and social media promotion!
The Surprise Economic Development Department has assembled lists of resources at the local, regional, county, state and federal levels to help you implement a safe re-opening strategy!
City of Surprise Re-Opening Resources
- Local Cleaning Supply Resources for Surprise businesses
- Decal and signage examples
- Schedule a Virtual Ribbon Cutting for promotion to the community; contact Kris Cassens at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Virtual Small Business Assistance via the AZ TechCelerator Program / contact Julie Neal at Julie.email@example.com
- Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce FREE Marketing and Advertising Campaign Enrollment
- Reopen with Confidence Program - English | Spanish
- Surprise Restaurants - Clean, Coordinate & Communicate 1-pager
- Maricopa County Re-opening Food Establishment Checklist (County)
- Lista de Verificación para Reabrir Restaurantes (Spanish / Español) (County)
- Re-opening Checklist (Spanish) ~Lista de Verificación para Reabrir Restaurantes (County)
- ADHS Guidance for Restaurants (State/ADHS)
- FAQ - Re-opening Retail Food during COVID-19 (State/ADHS)
- Governor’s Guidance for Reopening Restaurants Governor’s Guidance for Reopening Restaurants (State/Governor’s Office)
- List N Products with Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2 (Federal/EPA)
- Interim Guidance: Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for COVID-19 (Federal/CDC)
- Restaurants and Bars (Decision Tree) During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Federal / CDC)
- Restaurants & Beverage Vendors Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup – English | Spanish (OSHA)
Re-Opening Retailers and Other Businesses
- MCDPH Guidance for Monitoring Employee Health for COVID-19 (County / MCDPH)
- Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19) – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- Retail - Phased Opening (State / Governor’s Office)
- Arizona Guidance for Retail Business (State / Governor’s Office)
- ADHS Guidance for Retail (State / ADHS)
- Retail Workers – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- Barbers and Cosmetologists (State / Governor’s Office)
- Governor Ducey’s Guidance for Barbers and Cosmetologists (State / Governor’s Office)
- Pools (State / Governor’s Office)
- Gyms and Fitness Providers (State / Governor’s Office)
- Spas, Massage Therapists and Personal Services (State / Governor’s Office)
- Dental Practitioners – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- Retail Pharmacies – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility Workers – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- The Package Delivery Workforce – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- Rideshare, Taxi, and Car Service Workers – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- The Manufacturing Industry Workforce – English | Spanish (OSHA)
- The Construction Workforce – English | Spanish (OSHA)
Federal Re-Opening Guidance
- White House Guidance for Opening Up America
- CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces
- EPA Guidance on Disinfectants and COVID-19
- OSHA Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) COVID-19 Legal Guidance
Industry-Led Re-Opening Guidance
- Local First Arizona Reopening for Arizona Restaurant Guide
- Cushman & Wakefield Recovery Readiness How-to Guide
- Cushman & Wakefield “The Safe Six” Workplace Readiness Essentials
- BOMA Guidance on Preparing Buildings for Re-Entry Amid COVID-19
- IAAPA Reopening Guidance – The Global Association for the Attractions Industry
- International Council of Shopping Centers Re-Opening Best Practices
- American Hotel & Lodging Association COVID-19 Cleaning Standards
- McDonald’s Reopening Customer Journey Infographic
Additional Recovery Resources
- Arizona Commerce Authority Business Financial Support
- Arizona Commerce Authority – COVID-19 Arizona Business Resources
- Do you own a Business Owner’s Insurance Policy? If so, Business Interruption may be part of your policy.
- Maricopa County Public Health – Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Coronavirus and COVID-19
- Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use
- Checklist: Restoring Water Quality in Buildings for Reopening
The Economic Development Department mission is focused on activities that attract new jobs to Surprise, increase retail sales within the community and enhance our quality of life – and this has not changed. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Surprise Economic Development Department is focused more than ever on activities that will help businesses and our local workforce make a successful recovery while helping to keep our community updated with respect to important services. Our newly launched 100-Day Business and Workforce Recovery Plan is driving our priorities toward a successful economic recovery.
We appreciate and value any and all feedback, recommendations and communication received and genuinely appreciate the opportunity to provide business and workforce assistance services.
Have questions or recommendations? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!