Safford, United Way, SDA combine for local small business stimulus

Contributed Graphic/City of Safford

SAFFORD – City of Safford, United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties and Safford Downtown Association have rolled out a new program to help keep local businesses afloat during the COVID-19 shut-down.

The Invest in Safford Business Gift Certificate Program allows residents to purchase $10 gift certificates from their favorite shops for just $6.

“Our goal is to pump $120,000, leveraging the generosity of the local customers, for our local business,” said Safford Downtown Association President Danny Smith.

The three supporting agencies put in $39,000 – $20,000 from the City of Safford, $17,000 from the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties and $2,000 from the Safford Downtown Association – and will reimburse the businesses $3 for every gift certificate sold. The business will be contributing $1.

“That way they have a little skin in the game,” Smith said.

A limit of 12,000 gift certificates will be sold, with a maximum of 300 per store. Businesses will then sell the certificates between April 13 and April 19, and turn in the stubs for reimbursement to the city by April 20.

“Depending on how many gift certificates they sell, they could pump $500, $1,000, $3,000 into their business within 12 days,” Smith said.

Businesses have until Friday, April 10, to apply to take part in the program. Businesses will be notified if accepted on April 13, at which time they will receive their certificates.

Residents can use the certificates – good for the full $10 value – at any time. There is no limit on how many certificates a resident may purchase.

Businesses that wish to participate in the program can apply at

Editor’s note: David Bell is a board member of Safford Downtown Association.