The City of Tucson provides 21 business incentives, intended for all sizes and types of businesses. Some of these programs include loans, tax credits, impact fee deferrals and permit fee credits for solar construction and downtown development. Visit our Interactive Zoning Map Tool to find business incentives in your area. Contact the Economic Development Office to get started: 520-837-4079
Mayor Rothschild Speaks About Tucson’s Economy (via VerdeXchange AZ)
Small Business Assistance Line
The City of Tucson Office of Economic Initiatives‘ phone line focuses on Tucson’s small business entrepreneurs, acknowledging their value in our community’s economy. It helps strengthen their capability, survivability and ultimate success. The assistance line will help small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs navigate the city’s departments, programs and personnel through a one-stop shop to allow them more time to focus on growing their business and less time calling city staff in different departments. The Small Business Assistance Line, (520) 837-4100, is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and is available in both English and Spanish.
Price Preferences for Local Businesses
Tucson-area businesses can benefit under the Local Price Preference for General Goods and Services program, adopted by Mayor and Council in June 2012. In order to receive a price preference, businesses are required to submit a one-page affidavit with their bid/offer, confirming the business is located within the Tucson area. Preference is also given to businesses within Pima County and franchises operating in Pima County. The bid amount must be less than $1,000,000.
In determining the lowest responsible bid or fee proposal, any offer entitled to the Local Price Preference is evaluated by reducing the price(s) of the offer by a certain percentage, depending on the location of the business. Qualified businesses can earn a price preference of up to five percent. That percentage is subtracted from the bid, but does not change the actual bid amount.
More information is available at the City of Tucson’s Department of Procurement, or by calling (520) 791-4217.
Small Business Enterprise Program (SBE)
The SBE is a certification that allows local companies to conduct business with the City of Tucson, on contracts administered by the Procurement Department. SBE applicants may be representative of any ethnic and gender groups.
For goods and services less than $50,000, certified SBE firms may qualify for up to 7 percent price preference. For construction projects costing more than $50,000, SBE certified firms can be used to meet contract goals.
For information on how the certification process works, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Program at (520) 791-4593, or visit http://cms3.tucsonaz.gov/oeop .
In general, small businesses interested in pursuing an SBE Certification must meet the following criteria:
• Owner(s) must be U. S. citizens or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States
• Must meet the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) size standard
• Shall have gross receipts of the firm, that when averaged over a three-year period, do not exceed gross income limits for the type of business activity identified that corresponds with the Small Business Administration size standard
• Business is located in the Tucson Metropolitan Area
• Has been organized as a for-profit business
• Owner(s) must control the business and have the expertise and technical knowledge to operate, manage, and participate in the day-to-day functions of the business
• Personal net worth of each owner (individually) must not exceed $1.3 million excluding the owner’s(s’) equity interest in their personal residence and the value of the owner’s interest in the business applying for certification
• Submit a completed Arizona Unified Certification Program (Tucson AZUCP) application with all required documentation
• Obtain and maintain appropriate local, State, Federal, and professional licenses as required
• Register as a vendor with the City of Tucson Procurement Department.
Important Phone Numbers
The Planning & Development Services Department provides permits, certificates of occupancy, inspections, zoning information and more.
- Residential, commercial, CDRC, records, plan check: (520) 791-5550
- Zoning review: (520) 791-5608
- Inspections: (520) 740-6970
- Obtain a permit using the APA system: (520) 837-9088
- Sign permits: (520) 837-4975
- Rezoning: (520) 791-4541
- Zoning: (520) 837-4891
- Floodplain information: (520) 791-5609
- Operator: (520) 791-5550
The Finance Department handles business licenses and taxes.
- Business license section: 520-791-4566
- General questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department of Procurement handles purchasing and vendor registration.
The City Manager’s Office is committed to the economic growth of Tucson and helping businesses relocate and develop in the city: 520-791-4204
MainStreet Regional Small Business Resource Directory - Easy access to community partners and resources to better serve the needs of businesses. The directory includes a variety of organizations and resources to get you started when you are looking for additional assistance.
Business FAQs - Information every business owner, or prospective owner, needs to know about doing business in the City of Tucson.
Business License and E-Tax Services - The City of Tucson’s Finance Department operates this website to allow business owners to file and pay taxes.
Building Codes and Ordinances – A comprehensive listing of the codes that have been adopted by the Mayor and Council.
Building Business in Tucson (Videos) - Testimonials from businesses operating in the City of Tucson