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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on many small businesses. To aid struggling businesses during this unprecedented time, Desert Financial has partnered with the City of Tempe to create the Tempe Small Business Emergency Loan Program1. This $1 million loan program for Tempe business owners is the first of its kind in the Valley.

Program benefits include:

  • Loan amounts up to $20,000
  • 4% fixed interest rate
  • Repayment term up to 48 months
  • First payment deferred up to 90 days

Watch the video below for an overview of the program from Tempe Mayor, Mark Mitchell, and Desert Financial President and CEO, Jeff Meshey.

Program Details

We are offering microloans of between $5,000 and $20,000 to Tempe business owners that employ under 50 people. Home-based businesses are not eligible for this program. This program will conclude either when all of the funds have been awarded, or in three months, whichever comes first.

Lending criteria includes:

  • Applicant is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or other form of business enterprise, operating within the city of Tempe.
  • Applicant owns and operates no more than three separate locations and must be in business in Tempe for more than two years.
  • Applicant employs under 50 full-time equivalent employees, as of March 19, 2020. Home-based businesses are not eligible for this program.
  • Applicant must have a FICO score of 640 or better.
  • Applicant is not delinquent on any state, federal, or local taxes.
  • Applicant’s business operations have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and/or resulting government restrictions.
  • Applicant agrees to use loan proceeds to offset the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or resulting restrictions on applicant’s business.
  • Applicant is solely responsible for understanding the legal implications of securing a loan under the program, including but not limited to the effect of any loan on applicant’s eligibility for any other loan, grant, or other form of financial assistance, and agrees to hold Desert Financial Credit Union harmless from and against any such effects.

After completing the interest form on this page or calling the program hotline, and meeting the eligibility requirements, our business specialists will guide you through the application process. Please review the information below so that you can have your documents ready in advance.

Loan Application Steps:

  • Complete the interest form on this webpage
  • Complete program application via phone with Desert Financial Credit Union
  • Agree to standard credit check
  • Provide a personal guarantee
  • Provide information on net business income, number of employees, and any additional documentation requested by Desert Financial Credit Union
  • If loan is awarded, establish a business account with Desert Financial Credit Union

Funds may be used to cover employee payroll, rent, essential business supplies and other operating expenses. Loans will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualified applicants.


Desert Financial and other financial institutions are currently waiting for final guidance from the City of Tempe on this new loan program. In the meantime, we are collecting information from our interested business members so that we can provide application materials to you as soon as possible.

Complete and submit the interest form below to get started.

You will hear back from our business team shortly.

1All loans subject to credit approval. Restrictions may apply.