Thankfully, my small business was considered “essential” during the pandemic. My employees were able to continue to work and fulfill customers’ needs for raw materials. But others weren’t so lucky. Over 600,000 Arizonans, about 17% of the state’s workforce, have filed for unemployment benefits.
Local businesses and their employees need our help now more than ever. While many of the stay-at-home orders were lifted in mid-May, businesses are struggling to reach the levels of prosperity enjoyed pre-lockdown because customers are hesitant about returning. As a business owner, I want to reassure all Arizonans that safety is our priority. I was able to do it with my employees and customers. And with proper precautions, all businesses can do it for theirs. Arizona has almost 400,000 small businesses that help to put food on the table and keep our state and country running smoothly. As we continue to open, it is important to understand that all businesses are essential to someone.