A new program in Tempe provides low-interest loan opportunities to businesses along the streetcar route so they can have access to funds during construction.

Through a unique partnership between the City of Tempe, OneAZ Credit Union, Tempe Chamber of Commerce and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), a qualified business can get a line of credit for up to $20,000 at an interest rate of Prime plus 2 percent.

“The Asset Assistance Program is crucial to filling short-term gaps in the financial situation of businesses impacted by the streetcar construction,” said Anne Gill, Tempe Chamber of Commerce President/CEO. “I congratulate the City of Tempe for its creativity and collaborative work with private sector partners as we launch this important new program.”

Businesses can use the funds for operating expenses or to make capital improvements. To qualify, a business must be located next to the streetcar route, be independently owned and operated (meaning three or fewer locations under the same ownership) and agree to the credit line terms. Initial lines of credit are available until Tempe Streetcar begins operating in 2021.

“We’re honored to be involved with the City of Tempe and other partners like the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and SCORE to support local businesses in our community that may be impacted throughout the construction process,” said Mark Taber, Senior Vice President of Credit Administration for OneAZ Credit Union. “We’re here to support the affected businesses and look forward to building relationships with them to address their needs during this time.”

OneAZ Credit Union is administering the loans and providing the low-interest rate, SCORE and the Tempe Chamber of Commerce provide technical and marketing assistance, and the City is putting up to $250,000 on the table to offset any outstanding principal balances.

“Once it’s built, Tempe Streetcar will carry thousands of existing and new customers to businesses along the route,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “We know the construction process can be painful, and we want to help our businesses stay healthy and strong through that process.”

For information about the Asset Assistance Program, businesses can contact the Tempe Chamber of Commerce at 480-967-7891 or info@tempechamber.org.

For more information about Tempe Streetcar, including construction notices, visit valleymetro.org/TempeStreetcar