Tempe Chamber unveils loans for business access as streetcar is installed

An overview of the proposed streetcar layout. Photo courtesy of Valley Metro

By Wrangler News Staff

A new program in Tempe provides low-interest loan opportunities to businesses along the streetcar route so they can have access to funds during construction.

Through a unique partnership between the city of Tempe, OneAZ Credit Union, Tempe Chamber of Commerce and Service Corps of Retired Executives, a qualified business can get a line of credit for up to $20,000 at an interest rate of Prime plus 2 percent.

“The Asset Assistance Program is crucial to filling shortterm gaps in the financial situation of businesses impacted by the streetcar construction,” said Anne Gill, Tempe Chamber of Commerce president/CEO.

Sukki Jahnke, the chamber’s director of marketing, said businesses can use the funds for operating expenses or to make capital improvements. To qualify, a business must be located next to the streetcar route, be independently owned and operated (meaning three or fewer locations under the same ownership) and agree to the credit-line terms. Initial lines of credit are available until Tempe Streetcar begins operating in 2021.

OneAZ Credit Union is administering the loans and providing the low interest rate; SCORE and the Tempe Chamber provide technical and marketing assistance, and the city is putting up to $250,000 on the table to offset any outstanding principal balances.

“Once it’s built, Tempe Streetcar will carry thousands of existing and new customers to businesses along the route,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “We know the construction process can be painful, and we want to help our businesses stay healthy and strong through that process.”

For information about the Asset Assistance Program, businesses can contact the Tempe Chamber at 480-967-7891 or info@tempechamber.org.


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