RLG regulatory attorney Thomas Galvin talks to Arizona Republic about helping local businesses, in report on how Old Town Scottsdale is now a ‘ghost town’ in peak tourist season

By Lorraine Longhi | The Republic

On Thursday, when Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane declared a state of emergency, he stopped short of shuttering businesses. That became moot when the governor stepped in to do so.

Lane said Scottsdale has “many industries other than tourism,” and that he did not want to act without taking steps to thoroughly investigate the effects it would have on the city.

“We’re doing it as best we can without damaging our city’s overall health,” he said.

Councilwoman Solange Whitehead said the city must protect and re-evaluate its funds and determine how to save residents money, including extensions on utility bills and food vouchers for people in need.

“We are a tourist town that is used to taking care of our visitors,” she said. “Now we need to look inward and take care of ourselves. We need to make sure people weather this, because we want tourism back on track in January.”

Councilwoman Virginia Korte, who is running for mayor, in a campaign email said the city must consider “a comprehensive plan to address the economic tsunami that is befalling our service-based economy.”

She suggests the city look at refinancing some long-term debt and giving “small businesses and our hotel service industry an opportunity to hang on by providing legal targeted tax relief to permit them to continue to employ people during this temporary slowdown.”

Thomas Galvin, an attorney with Rose Law Group, said he had been helping local businesses apply for loans with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Loans could supply small businesses with up to $2 million to pay off debts, employee wages and other bills.

While each loan would be determined on a case-by-case basis, loans include low interest rates and repayment plans of up to 30 years, Galvin said.