COVID-19 News Round-up for July 7

Credit: Gowling WLG

Budget, Policy & Stimulus News 
Virus Surge May Force More Business Relief 
Because more than $130B remains in funding from the Paycheck Protection ProgramCongress has approved a six-week extension for applications. There is speculation that, due to a nationwide surge in new COVID-19 cases, Congress will have to use the additional time to devise and implement a new or expanded relief/stimulus program before it recesses in August. (Source: Phoenix Business Journal) 
Phoenix Backs Down on Hospitality Ordinance 
A controversial ordinance that would have dramatically impacted how Phoenix hotels rehired workers after being furloughed because of the pandemic was removed from last week’s Phoenix City Council agenda. In what appears to be a win for hotel owners, there was no date set to reschedule the measureCity staff will continue to hold meetings on the proposed measures with stakeholders, with a chance of it coming back again sometime in the future. (Source: Phoenix Business Journal) 
SBA Updates PPP Interim Final Rule 
On June 10th, the Small Business Administration issued an updated interim final rule for the Paycheck Protection Program in response to the PPP Flexibility Act that was passed June 5th. The updated guidance accounts for revisions made to the covered period, usage of funds changes, extended safe harbor, and more. (Source: AZ Big Media) 
NAHB Officials Urge Expanded PPP Eligibility 
National Association of Home Builders chairman Chuck Fowke and CEO Jerry Howard held a virtual discussion with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and urged the secretary to expand eligibility under the Paycheck Protection Program to allow more workers in the residential construction sector to access the loan program. (Source: NAHB Now 
Maricopa County Issuing $23M Relief Under Grants Program 
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved $23M in federal CARES Act funding for the grant program as many businesses struggle to stay open or reopen. The Small Business Relief Program will provide up to $10K in grants to reimburse businesses and nonprofits for lost revenues during March and April. The application period opens July 9th. (Source: Independent Newsmedia 
Economic News 
9 Arizona Cities Among Top 20 for Jobs Recovery 
The latest jobs report shows the national unemployment rate at 13.3 percent, which is below the peak of 14.7 percent during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though COVID-19 cases are surging, the good news is that nine Arizona cities are among WalletHub’s Top 20 Cities Whose Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most. (Source: AZ Big Media) 
On July 2nd, Rose Law Group updated its overview of city halls, planning and development services and public meeting accessibility around the Greater Phoenix area. (Source: Rose Law Group Reporter) 

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