The governor is seeking to create the Arizona Finance Authority in a revamp of the existing Arizona Commerce Authority. He wants to bring all economic development agencies and data generators under one umbrella.
The proposal is an industrial development authority, similar to ones used by Pima and Maricopa counties, as well as by the city of Phoenix, said Lorenzo Romera, the director of the the Governor’s Office of Budget and Research.
Romera explained, “We want to be able to increase lending opportunities for small businesses by consolidating small businesses under a large bond offering.”
The Governor’s Economic Opportunity Office is a proposed umbrella organization, led by the Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson. By consolidation multiple agencies, Ducey hopes to be able to fund large projects for small businesses.
One part of the proposal is that a nonprofit development authority with bonding ability will be created to package small business loans and generate loan revenue through the sale of tax exempt bonds.
A new addition to the group will be a research and data mining operation, whose job it will be to improve the state’s market position in economic development.
Officials hope these initiatives will have positive effects on small business and their ability to secure loans. The recent focus on small business to bolster economy may have real implications for big business, like distributors.
Research shows that 85% of customers live within a five-mile radius of the store they patronize, so working to promote local businesses is expected to have a ripple effect in the whole economy.
Each agency in the GEOO will continue to maintain their separate missions, boards, functions and budgets, but the flow of information will be directed through Watson.