Focused on Expanding Opportunities for All Arizonans, Sinema Hosts Roundtable with Southern Arizona Small Business Owners

Sep 12, 2023

Senator highlighted steps she’s taking to solve challenges and create opportunities for Southern Arizona’s small business community

TUCSON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with small business owners with the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce to discuss challenges and brainstorm solutions to continue expanding opportunities for the Tucson community – including making housing more affordable and accessible and combating the fentanyl crisis. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy. We’re working side-by-side with small business owners across Southern Arizona to address the challenges they face so they can continue building their businesses, creating careers, and fueling the local economy,” said Sinema. 

In Arizona roughly 99.5% of businesses are small businesses, underscoring the importance of Sinema’s work ensuring small and mid-sized businesses have the resources and support they need to thrive now and in the future.

During the meeting, Sinema discussed a host of challenges and opportunities facing Southern Arizona’s small business community. The Senator highlighted the economic and safety concerns the fentanyl crisis creates particularly for Tucson, and how she’s making meaningful progress to combat the flow of fentanyl across the border and into Arizona.

In the Senate-passed annual bipartisan defense legislation, Sinema secured three of her bipartisan bills – the Border Patrol Enhancement Act, Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, and the FEND Off Fentanyl Act – that boost pay for Border Patrol agents helping interdict drug smugglers, increase the number of Port officers to stop drugs from coming across the border, and target cartels and opioid traffickers financially to limit drug smuggling.

Sinema also heard about the need to make housing more affordable and accessible to recruit and retain the strong workforce needed to power small businesses across Southern Arizona. During the discussion, Sinema underscored her support for legislation that doubles the value of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to incentivize the development of more affordable housing in Arizona. In July of this year, Sinema announced a $50 million grant for the City of Tucson to strengthen safe, affordable housing options in the region.

Small businesses participating in Sinema’s roundtable included Diamond Ventures, D2 Dispensaries, Lieder Digital, Family Housing Resources, South32, and more.