The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented and significant effect on both Arizona’s economy and public health. The pandemic’s impact on the veteran community, whose statewide presence is 20% higher relative to the country as a whole, is particularly relevant in the state. With half a million veterans living in Arizona—making up nearly 1 in 10 adults in the state—the veteran community represents an important part of Arizona’s economy. In 2019, Arizona had 6,500 veteran-owned businesses that employed 67,521 employees with total payroll reaching almost $3 billion.
The American Rescue Plan’s Economic Impact on Arizona Veterans
The ARP included five key components that have provided benefits to veterans and their households. These provisions have eased the economic challenges faced by Arizona veterans as a result of the pandemic. For many veteran households, the following ARP provisions have helped cover loss of income, housing and other living expenses, and medical bills.
1. Stimulus payments of $1,400 per person in qualifying households.
● 405,000 veterans received stimulus payments totaling $567 million individually, representing approximately 80% of all Arizona veteran households.
● These households received a cumulative $1.1 billion from the ARP payments.
2. Fully-refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC ) of up to $3,600 per child.
● Four out of five children of veterans in Arizona were eligible for the CTC under the ARP, covering an estimated 95,000 children.
● 20,400 children aged five and under, as well as 62,000 children aged 6–17 years old, were estimated to have received monthly CTC payments in 2021.
● Collectively, advance CTC payments to Arizona veteran households with children amounted to $25 million each month.
● Veteran families with income under the poverty line saw their CTC payments increased by $11.5 million, and to those eligible for free or reduced lunch by $42.6 million—with the average family receiving about $1,750 more per child than they received under the prior CTC before the ARP, which was capped at a $1,400 refundable amount.
3. Federal weekly unemployment compensation and enhanced UI assistance to complement state unemployment insurance programs during the pandemic. (In Arizona, the supplement was ended prematurely due to action by Gov. Doug Ducey.)
● 14,000 veterans in Arizona received $300 FPUC stimulus payments from March 20 to July 3, 2021, based on GCI’s estimates. These payments amounted to $46.4 million, with a total economic impact of $80 million for Arizona using a multiplier of 1.7.
● 9,000 veterans in Arizona received PUA and PEUC payments from March to Sept. 6, 2021. These payments amounted to $34.4 million, with a total economic impact of $58.5 million using a multiplier of 1.7.
● Collectively, $81 million in federal unemployment payments were received, with an overall economic impact of nearly $140 million.
4. Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) and Enhanced Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aimed at small businesses, prioritizing veteran-owned businesses.
● After passage of ARP, 997 veteran-owned small businesses in Arizona received $15.5 million in forgivable PPP loans preserving 1,518 jobs.
● Under the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, 99 Arizona veteran-owned businesses received $24.4 million. Half of these businesses were owned by women veterans.
5. Enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to increase labor force participation and reduce poverty, as well as expanded EITC eligibility and increased payments for adults without children 17 and under.
● 21,000 veterans in Arizona will benefit from the expanded EITC, based on GCI’s estimates.
○ 12,000 were previously eligible but will see their benefits increase by $274 per year on average. These previously-eligible veterans will collectively receive $3.3 million.
○ 9,000 newly eligible veterans will receive an average benefit of $857. These veterans will collectively receive $7.8 million.
● Total benefits from EITC expansion for Arizona veterans are expected to total $11.1 million.