Tag Archives: AZ CARES

District 5 Newsletter • September 2020

Thank you for signing up to receive my Council newsletter. As always, it is my goal to email you a monthly newsletter with information regarding current events and items that may be of interest to you. In addition, you can find me at www.facebook.com/district5councilmansanders for regular updates. Due to COVID-19, I have not been able to hold my Facebook LIVE events with local businesses for the last few months. However, with the reopening of Surprise and its businesses, I will begin to do those soon. Be on the lookout! You can always reach me at david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Also, please feel free to visit my webpage at http://d5.surpriseaz.gov. As always, it is my distinct honor to serve you.

Small Business Resources

The Surprise City Council voted Tuesday night to disperse $430,000 in funding to address coronavirus-related community and business needs.

More than half of the funding will be allocated to a new Small Business Relief Grant program, with the rest supporting meal programs, water utility assistance, and homeless outreach.

The Small Business Relief Grant program seeks to distribute $250,000 to businesses in Surprise with fewer than 25 employees and less than $2 million in revenues. The businesses must have experienced economic distress and loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and closures compliant with Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Orders. The grant dollars are intended to assist for-profit businesses with rent, utilities, payroll expenses and other necessary operating costs. Grant amounts will be determined by business category, ranging from $1,500 in Category 1 to $10,000 in Category 5. Administration of the grant will be facilitated by a third party, so up to an additional $25,000 has been approved for that purpose, for a total program allocation of $275,000. Council may choose to add additional funding to the program, pending demand.

A table with business relief grant information, showing eligibility requirements and amounts.

The city anticipates the accepting of applications to begin on September 14. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/smallbusinessgrant.

The remaining $155,000 in funding will be used in support of the following social service programs:

  • Surprise Senior Center Meal Program – $25,000 to continue free senior meal services at the Surprise Senior Center.
  • Home Delivered Meal Program & Group Supported Workers – $60,000 to a local non-profit delivering meals to homes and employing adults with disabilities.
  • Homeless Outreach – $55,000 to pay for a non-profit homeless services provider to conduct outreach, provide services, and to purchase a van to transport guests.
  • Water Utility Assistance – $15,000 to help qualifying residents pay their water bills. For assistance, please call the Surprise Resource Center HOPE line at 623.222.4673.

AZ CARES money distributed to the city of Surprise provides the ability to offer these programs.

Maricopa County is also offering grants for small businesses and non-profits that are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For-profit and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations located in Maricopa County (excluding those located in Phoenix or Mesa) are eligible for grants up to $25,000. Applications for this program will be accepted through October 2, 2020. For additional information, please visit www.azfoundation.org/Grants-Loans/Maricopa-County-Relief-Grants

The City of Surprise’s AZ TechCelerator is here to help your business. Just one of the many ways you can take advantage of their services is by attending free virtual workshops! Upcoming workshop topics will include: What Does the New Norm Look Like for Small Business? And a series on Social Media for Small Business (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Keep an eye on the AZ TechCelerator website, www.aztechcelerator.com/, for more details as they become available.

Community Resources

Rental & Utility Assistance Available Now!

A happy family.The Surprise/El Mirage CAP office at the Surprise Resource Center has received a significant amount of federal CARES Act funding to help residents who have been impacted by the pandemic with rent and utilities. We have expanded our capacity to serve individuals and families who are eligible, so call our HOPE line today. 623-222-HOPE (4673). Due to the pandemic, eligibility has expanded to serve families with higher incomes, up to 300% poverty level. (Example – family of 4 is eligible if their gross monthly income is $6,550 or lower). Bilingual staff are ready to help.

Surprise CARES Housing Mortgage Assistance

Surprise CARES Housing Stability ProgramOn July 13th, the Neighborhood Services division launched the Surprise CARES Housing Stability program to assist Surprise residents who have experienced a loss of income directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents needing assistance with mortgage payments are encouraged to visit the participant portal on the City’s website to apply. Call the Surprise CARES Housing Hotline for more information: 623.222.1640.


The city is simplifying and modernizing its development and design standards. A draft of the new standards is now available for the general public and community stakeholders to provide comments related to the Land Development Ordinances (LDO) and Planning and Engineering Design Standards (PEDS). You can review and comment on these documents on the city’s website at surpriseaz.gov/developnext. In addition, several meetings will be held to present the changes and gather additional input.

Following is the timeline for those meetings (dates are subject to change):

  • Development Community Stakeholder Meetings – held virtually in August and September
  • Public Outreach Meetings – held virtually September 22 and 29 at 6 p.m. Instructions to participate are available at www.surpriseaz.gov/developnext
  • Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council Presentations – Several presentations in September, October and November
  • Public Hearings – at Planning and Zoning in November, and City Council in December (for final action)

The DevelopNEXT update will allow the city to align ordinance and design standard with the values described in the city’s General Plan 2035, implement new state statutes and federal guidelines, and improve the city’s standards for site, open space, and architectural design. Further, the update will consolidate the city’s design standards guides into one document and simplify and clarify the structure and organization of documents and the rules within them, making them easier to read, administer and enforce.

To learn more about DevelopNEXT, and for additional details on meeting times and dates, please visit surpriseaz.gov/developnext.

Surprise Aquatic Center Mural

The Surprise Aquatic Center has a new mural! “Swimming with a Porpoise” was voted on by Surprise residents, and now covers the wall at the Aquatic Center. Thank you to street artist “BacPac” who painted the mural. I also want to thank all the residents that voted!

A painted mural of swimming dolphins.

City Council Meeting Schedule

Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, September 15th at 6 pm. While our meetings are still not open to the public, you can always watch them live on Surprise TV at www.surpriseaz.gov/surpriseTV.

As always, I am available via david.sanders@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.1325. Please feel free to reach out. I always want to hear from my constituents.