Local First Arizona launches center to aid businesses following pandemic

Small business owners met up with Senator Krysten Sinema to discuss incoming relief, the importance of local banks and credit uniones and how to better reach out to underserved entrepreneurs on March 29. (LocalFirstAZ) /Public domain government photo

By Suelen Rivera |KTAR

An economic recovery center aiming to ensure every corner of the state has the opportunity to build back stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched by Local First Arizona, officials announced.

The Arizona Economic Recovery Center will focus on increasing capacity for more cities, towns, counties and nonprofits to win competitive federal, state and foundation grants, according to a press release.

“Arizona is at a turning point. While fairing better nationally than most states, we also have an opportunity to help shape what local economies look like in the coming decades,” Kimber Lanning, CEO of Local First Arizona, said in the release.

Gov. Doug Ducey recently announced his support through a contribution of $250,000, matching funding provided by companies, foundations and others raised by Local First Arizona to launch the initative.

Other donations to the organization were made by Vitalyst Health Foundation, Freeport-McMoran Foundation and the Arizona Community Foundation, according to a separate press release.

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