Back to Work Small Business Hiring and Retention Program

Back to Work Small Business Hiring and Retention Program

As part of Governor Doug Ducey's Arizona Back to Work Plan, the State of Arizona launched the Back to Work Small Business Hiring and Retention Program to help small, locally owned or operated businesses hire and retain employees. The grant program funds up to $10,000 in expenditures for employee hiring and retention efforts. There is a cap of $1,000 per employee and 25 percent of the awarded amount may be utilized for other business expenses. Special consideration will be made to businesses that are located in wildfire and flood impacted areas. 


  • 5 - 25 Arizona employees
  • Owned and operated in the state of Arizona, including franchises with corporate headquarters in other states, but with locally owned franchised establishments
  • Incorporated before January 1, 2020
  • Must be renting or leasing a physical location; may not be working from home or remotely as an independent contractor


Wildfire and Flood Impacted Businesses

Special considerations for small businesses located near and impacted by recent wildfires and floods in Arizona.

  • Up to 50 employees
  • Up to 100% of the awarded funding can be utilized for non-personnel expenditures 

Use of Funds

  • At least 75% must be used for the following:
    • Employee hiring/signing incentives
    • Relocation incentives paid to employees who are moving to take an open position with the qualifying business
    • Employee retention incentives
  • Up to 25% of funds may be used for other business expenditures including mortgage, rent, utility costs, and other operating expenditures
  • Up to $1,000 in total incentives per retained or newly hired employee
  • Employees that receive an incentive that is funded by this program may not include the business-owner
  • Business owners must submit a plan for how they will use the monies


The grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis and will undergo a peer review process. Funding must be distributed to new or existing employees within three months of the award.


Additional guidelines and application here