The city of Buckeye is accepting applications for the Economic Development Catalyst Program to help revitalize Downtown Buckeye and surrounding areas.
The Catalyst Program promotes the rehabilitation of existing commercial, industrial or mixed-used property by offering $50,000 per project to businesses. Businesses are expected to pay between 20% to 50% of the total project cost.
According to the city of Buckeye website, in the last six years, the program has funded 30 projects with $461,000 in city funding and $1.3 million in private sector investments.
A total budget of $125,000 is allocated toward this round of applying businesses.
In an interview, Tennille Hiller, Buckeye’s economic development coordinator, said the main goal is “to rebuild and revitalize areas of distress,” primarily Downtown.
“Because Buckeye is relatively new to citizens and businesses, the only area that’s under distress is Downtown,” said Hiller, who oversees economic development projects in the city and the Catalyst Program.
The pandemic didn’t necessitate any changes to the program, but the $250,000 budget was reduced to $125,000 in the second round. Hiller said the reason was that fewer businesses applied for the program in 2020.
In a presentation for the Western Maricopa Coalition (WESTMARC), Buckeye’s economic development manager, Suzanne Boyles, said, “We’re seeing development in a variety of industries.”
This includes commercial, health care, retail and education.
“We have a variety of industries actively building in the community,” Boyles said.
Other programs throughout the city, such as reduced permit fees for downtown district businesses, go hand in hand with the Catalyst Program to strengthen and preserve Buckeye businesses.
The city’s overall economic development assures residents will have local employment and shopping options.
“The residents have employment to look forward to first and foremost because we’re growing so fast … so there will be work right here where they live. And to assist that and go right along with it is going to come all of the services that they need,” Hiller said.
In 2020, the Catalyst Program received the Golden Prospector Award of Merit at the Arizona Association of Economic Development’s Fall Forum. The forum recognized the program’s successful outcomes throughout the years.
For more information, visit growbuckeye.com.