Arizona economy

Deidra Peaches, Change Labs

The Navajo Nation has been enforcing stay-at-home orders, curfews and weekend lockdowns for months to try and slow the spread of coronavirus. And that’s presented a challenge for artists, vendors, and small businesses on the reservation that rely on tourism and don’t have online stores. A business incubator called Change Labs is offering up to $5,000 loans to Native entrepreneurs on the Navajo and Hopi Nations to help them cope with the pandemic. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Change Lab’s Jessica Stago about the unusual loan program based on the idea of ‘kinship lending.’

Melissa Sevigny

Tenured faculty once made up the majority of teachers at American universities. But over the last several decades, non-tenure-track jobs have been on the rise. Universities have come to rely heavily on a group of teachers called “lecturers” who work on short term contracts, and have much lower salaries than tenured professors. They often teach large lectures of freshmen and help young students navigate college life far beyond the classroom. But their positions are vulnerable, as the coronavirus pandemic made clear when universities began to cut budgets drastically. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on more than 100 of those job losses at Northern Arizona University.


NAU Economic Policy Institute

Economists at Northern Arizona University surveyed about 400 businesses in Coconino County and Sedona to see how they’re coping with the economic shutdown. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on their findings.


The mayors of several rural Arizona communities say they’ve been left out of COVID-19 relief funding by the federal and state governments. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

The federal CARES Act funneled nearly 3 billion dollars to Arizona. A third of this went directly to the state’s three largest cities and Pima and Maricopa counties. But cities smaller than 500,000 people aren’t eligible for a direct payment. Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans spoke about the issue at a press conference. Flagstaff’s population is just over seventy thousand people.

SearchNet Media from Tucson, Arizona

The owners of more than 350 restaurants, shops, and other small businesses in Arizona have signed a letter pledging not to reopen yet because of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the gradual loosening of public health restrictions. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


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