COVID-19 News Round-up for August 7

Credit: World Construction Today

Budget, Policy & Stimulus News 
$100M PPP Payments to Charter Schools Investigated 
State Schools Superintendent Kathy Hoffman and Arizona Deputy Auditor General Melanie Chesney are examining whether the $100M in Paycheck Protection Program payments to charter schools in Arizona violate a “rarely enforced” state law prohibiting paying “twice to educate the same pupils”. (Source: AZCentral) 
Yuma Considers Increasing Relief Funds 
Yuma is looking to increase the amount of COVID-19 relief funds set aside for small businesses. City Council will consider upping the funds by $230K. Last month, the council approved a grant program to help the Yuma small businesses most impacted by the pandemic using a portion of the CARES Act allocation to the city. Coupled with the original $320K, the relief grant funds will total $550K. (Source: Yuma Sun) 
Economic News 
Student Housing Recovery Depends on Local Markets 
Student housing operators are optimistic about demand in markets where universities will hold face-to-face classes this fall but have a gloomy outlook for markets where universities will shift entirely online. Uncertainty looms over off-campus student housing operators in markets where universities have elected to go entirely virtual, says Sean Baird, director of the national student housing group with real estate services firm Colliers International. (Source: National Real Estate Investor) 
Class B & C Offices May be Hardest Hit 
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Class-B and -C office buildings are facing some big challenges, as they tend to be occupied to a large extent by small businesses. These small businesses are less likely to recover from the economic impact of the health crisis. A significant number of such businesses have already been forced to close, while others have survived with a mix of government aid, forbearance on debt and rent, and creativity in selling to an increasingly financially distressed populace. (Source: National Real Estate Investor) 
PPP Pumps $200M into West Valley 
The federal government pumped more than $200M into car dealers, restaurants, churches, private schools, contractors and other West Valley businesses under Paycheck Protection Program loan-forgiveness.In the West Valley, 199 companies received PPP loans of at least $150K. Another 1,922 West Valley businesses were granted loans between $44K and $147K. The under-$150K category totals $154M. (Source: West Valley View) 
Maricopa County Small Business Grant Opportunities 
A number of Small Business Grant Opportunities remain available for businesses in PhoenixMesa and the rest of Maricopa CountyInterested parties should follow the link(s) relevant to their location for more information. (Source: City of Phoenix Community and Economic Development)
Public Facilities Operations Update 
On August 5thRose Law Group published its regular update of municipal and county office, public meeting and planning and development access. (Source: Rose Law Group Reporter) 

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