Back to Work Small Business Hiring and Retention Program

Back to Work Small Business Hiring and Retention Program - Round II

The State of Arizona launched the Back to Work Small Business Hiring and Retention Program to help small, locally owned or operated businesses hire and retain employees. The grant program funds up to $10,000 in expenditures for employee hiring and retention efforts. There is a cap of $1,000 per employee and 25 percent of the awarded amount may be utilized for other business expenses. Special consideration will be made to businesses that are located in wildfire and flood impacted areas.



  • Small businesses with 5 – 25 employees
  • Owned and operated in the state of Arizona: including franchises with corporate headquarters in other states, but with locally-owned franchised establishments..
  • Incorporated before January 1, 2020: Intended to ensure that only established
    businesses are eligible for funding.
  • Must be renting or leasing a physical location; may not be working from home or remotely as an independent contractor.
  • Must be open to the general public and in good standing with the Arizona Department of Revenue.
  • Employees that receive a bonus that is funded by this program may not include the
    business owner.
  • At least 75% of the awarded funds must go to current or new employees in the form of
    bonuses. There is a cap of $1,000 per employee. Up to 25% of the awarded funds can
    go to other business expenditures such as mortgage/rent, utilities, etc.
  • Applicants may receive 1 award, up to $10,000 for eligible expenditures. The $10,000 of
    expenditures may be used at multiple locations. Applicants should submit one application -- regardless of the number of locations at which the funds will be.
  • Individual applicants that own multiple separate business entities may not apply for multiple grants in excess of $10,000 per individual owner.

Special considerations for small businesses impacted by wildfire or natural disaster flooding.

  • The employee cap is increased from 25 to 50.
  • Up to 100% of the awarded funding can be utilized for non-personnel expenditures

Reporting Requirements

Your business may receive a request for information on how the award was utilized (i.e.survey, email, or phone call).

Allowable Expenses

  • Eligible expenditures include employee hiring/signing bonuses, employee retention bonuses, relocation bonuses, and other business expenses (other business expenses are not to exceed 25% of the total award).
  • Eligible expenditures must occur after July 15, 2021


All applications will be reviewed at the end of the submission period on May 31, 2022. Applications will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis with an equitable urban and rural distribution. Applications will undergo a peer-review process to ensure all documentation is submitted and verified.


Additional application guidelines


Application Portal