TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Thursday, Jan. 21, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva introduced his first bill of the new Congress. The Border Business COVID-19 Rescue Act would provide funds to small businesses along the border to address the economic injuries effected by the pandemic.
The bill distributes funds through a Small Business Administration Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program and provides immediate $10,000 in advanced loans that do not require repayment; and loans of up to $500,000 for eligible expenses.
The bill also allows the SBA to forgive up to 100 percent of awarded loans, and specifically targets funds to qualifying small border businesses with adjusted gross incomes under $500,000 within 25 miles of a U.S. border.
According to Grijalva, with pandemic-related border closures nearing their year mark, businesses along the northern and southern border have been especially hard hit.
In Arizona, the City of Nogales recorded one-fifth of the border crossings in April 2020 than what it recorded in April 2019. Grijalva says this translates to a sales tax revenue of $776,000 in April 2020, a 30 percent decline from $1.1 million reported in April 2019.