Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Arizona Dept of Commerce Faces Catastrophic Cuts

AZIGG is an important partner of the Arizona Department of Commerce. We wanted to provide you with an important budget update. This content is supplied by the Arizona Dept of Commerce.

During this unprecedented time of financial hardship for the state, when Arizona is facing a budget deficit of roughly $4 billion, the budget released by Governor Brewer on June 1st reflects a commitment to the health and welfare of Arizona’s business community, while continuing to be sensitive to the financial realities of our state.

The Arizona State Legislature recently passed a budget that slates Commerce for a $2 million general fund reduction as well as additional line item reductions. This cut would be crippling to Commerce and would mean an immediate ceasing of many programs vital to the business of Arizona and our ability to recover from this economic downtown.

In fact, the Legislature's reductions result in over a 50% reduction in staff and resources, including those from business attraction, community development, innovation and technology, and tax credit programs. This essential “shut-down” of services would mean that Arizona is the ONLY state in the country without a state level business attraction team dedicated to recruiting companies and creating jobs.

In stark contrast, although the Governor’s budget requires Commerce to forego $2 million, the managerial constraints of funds are removed and the $2 million comes from various funding streams, not just the general fund. This flexibility allows Commerce to continue to staff and fund its important programs. Also included in the Governor’s budget is a requirement that Commerce continue to look for cost-savings by renegotiating existing contracts, continue vacancy savings and begin to reduce its reliance on the General Fund.

The Governor’s budget also streamlines and modernizes the agency. Specifically, under the direction of the new Director, Don Cardon, Commerce will look at its internal processes and programs to ensure that they are in line with the mission of Commerce – to spur and grow economic development for all of Arizona. The Executive budget also lays out a plan for long term fiscal planning and stability.

In total, the Executive budget proposes over $1 billion in spending cuts, maximum utilization of federal stimulus funds, including those for the State Energy Office housed in Commerce, and a temporary one percent sales tax increase. This sales tax increase is expected to garner approximately $1 billion in additional revenue, that when paired with other fiscal tactics, not budgetary gimmicks, will help Arizona recover.

As a key stakeholder, we ask for your support of the Governor’s budget proposal as this process moves forward. The timing of your support is crucial, as there are only a few days left before the beginning of the fiscal year.

For additional information on the impact of the Governor’s budget to the State of Arizona, please visit: and click on the “Building a Better Arizona” link.

Also, if you are interested in contacting your legislator, please visit the Arizona Legislature’s website at : for contact information. If you are unsure of your elected officials, you can easily find your legislators by visiting the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission website at:
As always, thank you for your continued support of the Arizona Department of Commerce. We look forward to working with you during these rough times and for the future ahead.

Kerri Morey
Director of Public Policy
Arizona Department of Commerce

Karla Castro Teixeira
Arizona Department of Commerce
International Business Development Manager
International Trade and Investment Division
1700 W. Washington Street, Suite 220
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

AZIGG June 26th Event at D'Backs

Homerun Networking Event - AZIGG and the D'Backs - June 26th

Annual networking event with Cullen Maxey, SVP, Corporate Partnerships and Marketing, Arizona Diamondbacks. Watch the D'Backs play the Anaheim Angels with 200 new friends. Investment $55.

Thanks to Michael Swiczsz of the Phoenix CEO-CFO Group. In cooperations with CEO-CFO Group, ACG-Arizona and AZIGG.

All the best, Doug

Doug Bruhnke - Growth Nation and AZIGG