On Wednesday, February 7, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Partner America awarded Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton with the Small Business Advocate Award. It’s the second award for Mayor Stanton in as many years, as he was named a Public Official of the Year in the 2017 edition of Governing Magazine. Mayor Stanton accepted the award saying, “When cities do well- and small businesses in those cities do well- the United States of America does well,” he continued, “The key to building a healthy and strong economy is supporting local businesses, lifting them up and helping them succeed.”
Mayor Stanton has implemented that philosophy in a variety of ways. He opened the Hive @ Central, a business incubator that has served more than 36,000 in the last four years, started an Export Readiness Boot Camp for small business owners, initiated an adaptive reuse policy that helps small business owners find new uses for historic buildings, instituted a streamlined permit application and approval process, and implemented a contract procurement policy that favors local small businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration says that small businesses make up 99% of the businesses in the Phoenix Area. Among them is The Armory, a military veteran training and mentorship business. Phillip Potter, the CEO of The Armory, said that “Mayor Stanton and the City of Phoenix Department of Community and Economic Development have been key to The Armory’s success.” Leticia and Jose Gamiz, owners of Mi Vegana Madre, a vegan Mexican food truck, credited Mayor Stanton’s Hive @ Central for their success. The Hive offers eight startup workshops in English and Spanish for anyone interested in starting a small business in Arizona. Cindy Dach, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore, noted how instrumental the reuse initiative was in opening their second store at the Newtown on Camelback.
Stanton was elected Mayor of Phoenix in 2011, after serving for 11 years on the City Council. Mayor Stanton is currently running for Arizona’s 9th Congressional seat as a Democrat. Rep. Krysten Sinema, who currently holds that seat, is campaigning for one of Arizona’s U.S. Senate seats