Arizona Commerce Authority Awards Economic Development Funds to Rural Organizations

$2 million to 21 rural economic entities


PHOENIX, AZ (February 7, 2011)  The Arizona Commerce Authority announced today the awarding of $2 million dollars to 21 rural organizations throughout Arizona via the Rural Economic Development Grant Program. Estimated to create more than 500 full-time jobs and 80 part-time jobs, applications were received from 75 organizations in just 30 days in response to the request for proposals.


Organizations will use their share of the grant money to initiate projects that will support economic development through job growth and capital investments.


“In our quest for economic growth and job creation, a statewide approach is vital in our efforts to advance Arizona,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “By focusing resources and efforts in our rural communities, we can ensure that business formation and growth stems from every region of the state, for a well-rounded and inclusive economic engine.”


The 21 selected entities include:

  • Arizona Rural Development Council (AZRDC)
  • Bylas District Economic Enterprise (BDEE) Incubator
  • Central Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation
  • City of Eloy
  • City of Flagstaff
  • City of Safford
  • Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition
  • County of La Paz
  • County of Mohave Economic Development Department
  • Douglas Regional Economic Development Corporation
  • Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona (ECoNA)
  • Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation
  • Kayenta Township Commission
  • Kingman Airport Authority, Inc.
  • Local First Arizona Foundation Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG)
  • Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation
  • Town of Clifton
  • Town of Florence
  • Wickenburg Regional Economic Development Partnership
  • Yuma County Airport Authority

The grants, made available from funding by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are designed to give financial assistance to cities, towns, counties, and tribal communities for local economic development efforts. Additionally, the program encourages economic development in rural areas by providing organizations with matching funds to create jobs, manage community resources, and develop community marketing strategies that encourage capital investment and produce statewide benefits. It is estimated that more than $12.8 million in matched and leveraged funds will result from the Arizona Commerce Authority’s initial funding.


“We are proud to support such deserving communities in rural Arizona. Most have very limited budgets, and grants such as these help provide assistance to attract new business development from other states and provide resources for rural communities to seek, retain, and expand existing businesses,” said Don Cardon, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “This is truly what the ACA is about, creating and retaining jobs in Arizona. We are eager to see the success this funding brings to those communities and our state,” added Cardon.


Grant recipients were selected based on a competitive application process, with each application comprehensively analyzed by a review committee comprised of members of the Arizona Rural Business Advisory Council. The selection committee determined the winners based on the following criteria:

  1. Job Creation
  2. Leveraged Dollars
  3. Aggressive Timeline and Ability to Start Project Quickly
  4. Cost Effectiveness
  5. Sustainability of the Project
  6. Regional Impact
  7. Management and Administrative Capacity

Funding for the Rural Economic Development Grant Program was allocated in February 2010 using the Governor’s State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) Discretionary monies derived from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.


Media Contact

Nicole McTheny, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 8451-1231, [email protected]


About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.