$10 Mesa Business License unlocks $250+ in FREE, valuable services

January 2, 2024 at 3:10 pm

The first 500 eligible small businesses that apply by March 31 and receive their Mesa General Business License may activate a free one-year membership to the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA), valued at $250. In addition, the license opens the door to the Mesa Business Builder (MBB) Small Business Assistance Program,* which can be worth $500 or more in free customized business consulting and programs.

The City of Mesa's general business license - required of most businesses - continues to be offered for a $10 application fee through the end of 2024 to encourage registrations. The application is available at mesaaz.gov/business/licensing.

The ASBA membership - available to businesses with fewer than 100 employees that sign up for this benefit no later than April 30 - provides access to educational programs, resources, networking opportunities and exclusive member benefits for a year. *The MBB Small Business Assistance Program is open to eligible businesses with 25 or fewer full-time employees. It provides customized professional support services in marketing, accounting, strategic planning and more to help small businesses build a foundation for success. Program details are found at: MesaBusinessBuilder.com.

"Mesa believes in supporting our businesses, and we utilize the general license as a tool to help connect our businesses with available resources," said Mayor John Giles. "To continue to encourage adoption, I'm pleased that we're extending the introductory fee through 2024."

Mesa City Council approved a $25 fee for the license, with an introductory rate of $10 to build awareness. Most businesses that collect sales tax, provide services or are based at home must apply for the license. Some exemptions apply, including casual business activity and businesses called out by Arizona state statute.

With the creation of this license, Mesa joined several major municipalities in Arizona - including Scottsdale, Chandler and Gilbert - requiring businesses to be licensed or registered in their respective communities.

The Mesa General Business License, supported by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, enables the City to provide timely information and essential news for operating a business, especially in times of emergency. Additionally, the license serves as a starting point for obtaining other permits and code requirements to do business in Mesa. It's also a requirement to access some programs, such as MBB Small Business Assistance Program.

"We want to see our small businesses thrive in this competitive economy, and the Mesa General Business License is the key to getting assistance tailor-made for their business," said City of Mesa Economic Development Director Jaye O'Donnell.

Jason Li, owner of Z&Y Gifts in west Mesa, found the application easy to fill out. "It only took me a few minutes," he said, noting the free MBB benefits are "awesome" for small businesses. "The consulting, training, and education (through MBB) can help many businesses. ...Things like social media marketing and websites may cost owners so much money to just get started."

Approximately 4,500 businesses in Mesa have active licenses. The City estimates more than 12,000 businesses operate in Mesa and may not be aware of the license requirement.

"ASBA and Mesa's Office of Economic Development are both seeking to build our business community," said Debbie Hann, ASBA interim CEO. "We are thrilled we have been able to continue this partnership and support another 500 small, Mesa businesses in 2024."

Mesa began issuing a general business license in January 2022 to better serve and support local businesses. Businesses must display the license where it can be seen, providing confidence to customers and validating a business's presence in the community. Licenses are valid 12 months from the date of issuance.

Business owners can find more information and a list of frequently asked questions on the City's licensing page: mesaaz.gov/business/licensing.

Now in its third year, the MBB Small Business Assistance Program has helped more than 200 Mesa businesses during the past two years. The program provides free business support services to eligible licensed small businesses on a first-come, first-served basis through April 30, 2024, or until funds are exhausted. Program participants receive a package of services, such as customized professional consulting, boot camps, and education opportunities. For more information, read the FAQs at MesaBusinessBuilder.com.