Find various lenders, non-profits, and government programs in Arizona that provide loans and/or free grants to small business owners. There are funds aimed at helping women owned companies as well as minority owned businesses. Find details below, as well as a list of loans and grants near you that can help Black, immigrant or Latino owned companies, women owned or run businesses, LGBTQ companies and other minority small businesses.
Some of the agencies focus on providing grants to Latino or Black women owned businesses, and others help any minority, veteran, or female in Arizona. Each and every day new loans and grants will be added to the list below, as they are released. The funds are targeted at helping minority as well as women owned (or run) companies as they often struggle to get the financing they need. The money can be issued by banks in Arizona, non-profit organizations, federal or state government backed agencies, foundations, or anyone.
If you need help starting a business, or growing an existing one, the loans and free grants below may assist. Apply early as the funds that help MWBE or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) often go quickly.
Small business loans and free grants in Arizona
An ongoing list of loans and/or grants is below. Whether a woman owned company, veteran, or minority, these lenders may help you. In addition to the funds you need, they also often provide mentoring and other assistance.
Year round financial assistance programs, grants and free business resources
There are grants, loans, and financial assistance programs that operate year round, and they are listed below by beneficiary, city and/or region. In addition, continue to scroll down the page for other “monthly” free grants and business services in Arizona.
Statewide Arizona MWBE assistance programs
Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce exists to promote the success of Hispanic and Latino businesses, including those of immigrants. Members can get leadership and business development help, get sale leads from online tools, be notified of free government grants focused on Latino businesses and so much more. It is all about encouraging the growth and success of Hispanics in Arizona. Find details here. https://www.azhcc.com/
Arizona Women’s Partnership is a non-profit, charity groups that will (in most years) provide grants to non-profits and social service organizations that focus on women’s causes or those agencies that help the vulnerable. A focus is on helping women run non-profits in AZ with the annual grants. Read more here. http://www.azwp.org/home.php
BASE Arizona focuses on Black male and women in Arizona. A number of services are operated by the non-profit Black Alliance & Social Empowerment (BASE), including scholarships, free business classes or workshops, information on grant programs and more. The primary assistance program is BASE Worx, which is a Black Business Incubator, that helps entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. Learn about their services here. https://www.basearizona.org/
FABRIC Incubator helps designers as well as fashion entrepreneurs or small businesses. The non-profit helps them start or grow a business. There is an accelerator program, information on raising money (loan, grants, crowdfunding, etc.), product development services and more. Continue reading. https://fabricincubator.com/
Fuerza Local (Local First Arizona) supports small businesses across Arizona. The non-profit tries to encourage business growth, employment, community development, and much more. Whether Spanish speaking or now, guidance, as well as free information on financial aid, can be offered. Learn more here on this organization. https://localfirstaz.com/fuerza-local
Growth Partners Arizona provides financing across the state., including from 0% interest rate Kiva loans. They help underserved areas in Phoenix, Tucson, and other cities get capital, create business plans, and gain other support. Many clients are Latinos, immigrants, or minority or female owned businesses. They allow companies to match funds, offer customized loan packages, and give other assistance. Find details on the AZ lender here. https://www.growthpartnersaz.org/
Women owned businesses in Arizona that are focused on Phoenix and Tucson (as well as others in the state) can turn to the Prestamos CDFI Women Business Center. The CDFI provides low cost loans for growing or starting a business. They also a number of other services to immigrants, Spanish speakers, Latinos and women companies. Coaches help with HR, Operations, Financial Management, and more. Free seminars workshops, and even applications to grants may be offered. Read here. https://www.prestamosloans.org/womens-business-center/
The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) helps female owned businesses across the state, with a focus on tech companies. They offer an incubator program, meaning they help companies start and go on a growth trajectory. Get help applying for grants, no-interest loan, technical help, and learn about strategic partners. Women of all races can use the center. More details here. https://techparks.arizona.edu/UACenterForInnovation
Maricopa County and Phoenix free grant, loan, and business coaching programs
Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) provides low-interest (or some cases 0% APR) loans to underserved businesses, including Hispanic and minority owned. There are also free business development workshops, micro-loans for minorities or women with bad credit and more. Learn about theCommunity Development Financial Institution known as CPLC here. https://cplc.org/econ/lending.php
Maricopa businesses can get interest free loans from a “Kiva” loan hub. A major focus of the non-profit lender is on providing funds to women, minority, veteran, immigrant, and LGBTQ small businesses. The center is run in partnership GoDaddy, City of Phoenix, Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest. Loans can also be given to small business owners with no credit history or low credit scores, and up to $15,000 can be borrowed from the interest free loan program. Learn more. https://www.bbb.org/pacific-southwest/PhoenixKivaHub/
Phoenix area businesses, that are located in the region of McDowell Road from 7th Street to 20th Street, can get interest free microloans from Trellis. They are a Kiva trustee that helps minority, women, veteran, and in general “disadvantaged” businesses in that region get the financing they need. A major focus is on businesses that are involved in the redevelopment of that region. Learn more on the non-profit here. https://trellisaz.org/
Seed Spot also helps minority owned businesses in the Phoenix region. They help businesses that focus on social change and impact. Get access to mentors, learn about raising capital, business plan development and more. Latinos, immigrants, Black owned businesses and others can reach out to this non-profit. Learn more. https://seedspot.org/
Verde Valley small businesses that lack access to capital due to bad credit or other barriers can get money from the Regional Economic Organization’s (VVREO) Revolving Loan Program. A major focus is on women and Hispanic owned small businesses. In general, up to $25,000 is provided at a low interest rate. Buy equipment, inventory, business supplies and more. Apply here. https://www.vvreo.com/money.html
Pima County and Tucson area
Pima County businesses can get loans from the Community Investment Corporation. The non-profit partners with Kiva on a BIPOC interest free loan program, crowdfunding, and they offer their own financial assistance programs as well as counseling services. The amount of interest free loans provided range from $500 to $100,000 as part of the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund. The funds are combined with training, online tutorials, workshops, networking and other free services. Continue reading here. https://cictucson.org/
Southern Arizona and Tucson small businesses and entrepreneurs can get 0% interest rate loans from the Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC). Applications and programs are in Spanish too. MAC focuses on immigrants, businesses owned by women and people of color. Kiva loans are issued, as MAC is a Kiva Trustee. Get help with venture capital, SBA loans, free business consulting, legal aid and more. Continue reading here. http://mac-sa.org/
Tucson Small Business Assistance Line, and a service called Connect Tucson, is available. Start-ups, small businesses, immigrants and others can get help. There will be loans from the VANZA Revolving Loan Fund, grants, mentoring, and other support. Many of the programs are run in partnership with the Tucson Industrial Development Authority. Find details on all the programs here, https://connecttucson.com/, or dial the customer service line at 520-837-4100.
Tucson small businesses and startups can get help from the non-profit Startup Tucson. A major focus is on rural businesses. Farmers, migrant owned businesses, restaurants or retail stores and others are a focus. Learn about local financial aid programs and get other assistance as well. Read more on the non-profit. https://www.startuptucson.com/
Tucson BIPOC businesses (Black owned, people of color, Latino, women, etc.) can apply for interest free loans from Community Investment. This is an annual financial assistance program that is open to help businesses owned by people of color to get funds they need for their businesses. Most of the support is in the Tucson area, and read more here. https://cictucson.org/bipoc-loan-program/
March and April 2023
Startup Tucson and Community Investment Corporation Tucson is offering low cost, or interest free funds , as part of the Success Through Alternative Capital (STAC). The program is a little different in that the small business, including minority or women, is loaned money based on the applicant’s revenue as a form of “collateral”. It is form of revenue based financing. The repayment terms are flexibile based on the business revenue, and learn more here. https://cictucson.org/stac/
Tempe AZ manufacturing businesses can apply for free $25,000 grants. The program is run in partnership, and with funding from Congressional Community Project Funding, Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council, Hustle PHX, RAIL CDC and others. The financial assistance is known as the BIPOC Micro-Manufacturing Grant, with money for small businesses owned by people of color that are manufacturing industries. Applicants need to have under 5 employees among other criteria, and apply here. https://www.tempe.gov/government/economic-development/small-business/bipoc-micro-manufacturing-grant/
October and November 2021
Maricopa County is giving millions of dollars to support small businesses in the county and Phoenix. the financial aid will be a very low cost loan, with assistance for veterans, BIPOC, veteran, and MWBE companies among others. Chicanos Por La Causa and Prestamos will be processing applications, reviewing candidates, and issuing loan funds. There is also free coaching and counseling, marketing and technical assistance and more. the loans and other support is part of the county resilience program. More info here. https://www.prestamosloans.org/mcloans/
YWCA Southern Arizona is giving cash grants of up to $10,000 to female owned businesses in Phoenix, Tucson, and other cities. Small business grants are also for Latina and immigrant owned businesses that have been impacted by COVID. Partners include The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, the City of Tucson and the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. The assistance program is known as the Small Business Continuity Grant program, and it is for small to mid-sized businesses with less than 51 people. It is for COVID-19 impacted companies. Apply here. https://cfsaz.org/grants-scholarships/cares-act-grants/
July 2020: New Free Grants Offer Aid To South Tucson Businesses. Preference will be offered to businesses owned by women and minorities, as well as those with disabilities – https://patch.com/arizona/tucson/new-grants-offer-aid-south-tucson-businesses
By Jon McNamara