Financial Resources for Small Businesses
Recent Updates to this Page
- The Alzheimer's Arkansas COVID-19 Response Grant is available to personal caregivers who are experiencing a loss of income or employment due to the COVID-19 Crisis. These funds can be used for utilities, groceries, respite care, medical supplies or anything needed in the home to create a safe and happy environment. This $100 grant can be awarded to one care recipient (patient) once during this calendar year while funds are available. Learn more >
- The Arkansas 30 Day Fund is a non-profit which provides forgivable loans for Arkansas- based small businesses. The forgivable loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees, and save jobs while they await recently approved federal and state funding. Learn more >
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has been made available to eligible businesses and private nonprofits that were impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These working capital loans of up to $2 million can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, and other bills that can't be paid because of the disaster's impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower's ability to repay. Learn more about the loan program HERE. Asistencia de Desastre de la SBA en Respuesta al Coronavirus.
SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses.
The SBA has launched a new relief page for businesses HERE.
** President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday, April 24, a $484 billion coronavirus relief package to provide some aid to small businesses and the healthcare system. The bill injects $320 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program, which is intended to allow small businesses to continue paying their employees. Learn more > **
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed by President Trump on March 27. The timely implementation is critical to millions of small businesses and self-employed Americans across the nation. See the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council's guide What’s in the Cares Act for Small Businesses, the Self-Employed and Gig Workers here, which covers key details and the links for further specifics. While specific procedures for applying for the new emergency loans are still being written by the SBA, Congressman French Hill and Edward Haddock of the SBA hosted a Facebook live stream discussing the CARES Act and what to expect in the coming days. Watch the video chat >
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced on Monday, Mar. 30, that distribution of Economic Impact Payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Learn more and get updates >
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act, prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Interest rate is 1%. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations and tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. U.S. Treasury FAQs are HERE.
- For a top-line overview of the program click HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- Lender and borrower applications are posted HERE.
The SBA has issued an interim final rule announcing implementation of sections 1102 and 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) HERE.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The House and Senate have passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and President Trump signed this $100 billion bill on March 19. It will go into effect on April 2. It addresses the need for temporary paid employee sick and family leave, as well as other support programs to help individuals and families cope with COVID-19 disruptions. Learn more HERE and HERE.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division issued their first level of guidance on how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will affect employers and employees. The guidance — provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document — addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage, how small businesses can obtain an exemption, how to count hours for part-time employees, how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law, and more.
To view the official guidance from the DOL please click here.
Department of Justice
Department of Justice makes $850 million available to help public safety agencies address COVID-19 pandemic here.
Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center (ASBTDC)
ASBTDC is gearing up to be set up as a virtual emergency site to help with disaster relief lending. For more information on ASTBC, please see http://asbtdc.org/covid-19-resources where they will be putting more information disaster funding assistance. You can also call ASBTDC at 1-800-862-2040 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick Action Loan Program
UPDATE: Leaders of the Arkansas Legislative Council on Sunday, May 3, approved an additional $40 million for this grant program. Applications will be accepted on Tuesday, May 5, and Wednesday, May 6, from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. There will be an allocation of $4,000,000 from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund and an additional $3,000,000 from the Attorney General’s Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund. Eligible companies may apply for a loan or loan guaranty of up to $250,000. Priority will be given to small- to medium-sized companies that are in the supply chain of essential goods and services, including health care, food manufacturing and logistics.
COVID-19 Rainy Day Fund
HB 1001 by House Speaker Matthew Shepherd and 36 others and SB 2 by Senate President Jim Hendren and 21 others are identical bills that create the COVID-19 Rainy Day Fund. It provides for the transfer of $173,610,632 to the new Fund from the General Revenue Reserve Allotment Fund. The bills will be sent to their opposite Chambers and the General Assembly will convene just after midnight on Friday, Mar. 27, to pass the bills from their opposite Chambers. This is being done to meet the minimum required three days for a Special Session. Governor Hutchinson will be waiting to sign the bills as soon as they get to his desk.
AEDC Ready for Business Grant Program
UPDATE: Leaders of the Arkansas Legislative Council on Sunday, May 3, approved an additional $40 million for this grant program. The program's website is set to go live and take applications May 5-6. Due to overwhelming demand during the program rollout, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission has revised the allocation of funds among qualified applicants in order to provide assistance to more Arkansas organizations. Qualified applicants may receive grants up to $1,000 per FTE and up to $500 per part-time FTE.
In an effort to help Arkansas businesses as they prepare to transition back towards normal operating capacity, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission's Ready for Business Grant Program is designed to provide grants from $1,000 to $100,000, depending on the number of employees, to assist with COVID-19-related expenses. Businesses may apply starting at 5 p.m. today. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more and apply >
Arkansas 30 Day Fund
The Arkansas 30 Day Fund is a non-profit which provides forgivable loans for Arkansas- based small businesses. The forgivable loan is intended to provide immediate financial assistance to meet payroll, preserve healthcare coverage for employees, and save jobs while they await recently approved federal and state funding. Learn more >
City of Little Rock Emergency Relief Program
The city has developed an emergency relief program, funded by the CARES Act from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program. Small businesses, including sole proprietorships, corporations, or limited liability corporations, that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 may apply for a forgivable loan up to $5,000 at zero interest. There are no payments during the first year. If jobs are retained, created, or restored and still exist after one year, the loan is forgiven upon verification. Applications will be accepted starting Monday, May 4. Learn more >
Emergency Grants for Small Businesses
Export Import Bank of the United States Announces Flexible Financing Options
The Export Import Bank of the United States has developed four different financing programs to support U.S. businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19. Options are outlined here: EXIM Bank Flexible Financing.
Entergy Creates COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
In an effort to help working families experiencing financial hardships as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Entergy Charitable Foundation has established a $700,000 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Learn more >
CenterPoint Energy Foundation
CenterPoint Energy Foundation will contribute $1.5 million to nonprofit organizations, agencies and causes that are committed to supporting those who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. CenterPoint Energy’s COVID-19 Relief Fund will include $1 million in direct contributions, as well as up to $500,000 in matching gifts for employees’ contributions to qualifying 501(c)3 organizations. Learn more >
FORGE Loans and Grants
Thanks to funding from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, FORGE is offering Quick Response Loans from $500 to $10,000 with 4% interest for small and micro businesses. Get a response on your approval in one day with funds dispersed within five days. Learn more and apply >
FORGE is also offering $500 grants to current students and alumni of Remix Ideas. For more information, email RemixIdeasLR@gmail.com.
Financial Relief for Minorities and Specific Industries
Alzheimer's Arkansas COVID-19 Response Grant for Caregivers
The COVID-19 Response Grant is available to personal caregivers who are experiencing a loss of income or employment due to the COVID-19 Crisis. These funds can be used for utilities, groceries, respite care, medical supplies or anything needed in the home to create a safe and happy environment. This $100 grant can be awarded to one care recipient (patient) once during this calendar year while funds are available. Learn more >
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation COVID-19 Relief Initiative
The ABHOF Foundation and the Office of Health Equity at the Arkansas Department of Health have formed a partnership to address hardships caused by the pandemic. The Foundation will provide mini-grants up to $1,000 to assist community organizations in Black and other underserved populations in addressing food insecurity, housing, household finances, physical and mental health care needs, and education of children and families related to COVID-19. Learn more and apply >
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund is offering grants to business owners facing financial hardship, particularly focusing on business owners of color, women and other marginalized groups. $10,000 grants will be offered to those who qualify. Learn more and apply >
AssistHer Emergency Relief Grant
Texas Women’s University has created a grant for those whose businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The grant is for $10,000 and is designed to help women-led businesses located/operated within the state of Texas. Learn more and apply >
The Doonie Fund
A social startup called digitalundivided is now providing relief for those impacted by COVID-19. Through a new fund called The Doonie Fund, named after the CEO’s grandmother, aid will be provided specifically for Black female entrepreneurs who have experienced hardships as a result of COVID-19. Learn more and apply >
Spanx Red Backpack Fund for Female Entrepreneurs
The SPANX by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish the Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. Apply online > https://www.globalgiving.org/redbackpackfund/
Women's Foundation of Arkansas
The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas has established Women Owned, a fund to provide assistance to women owned small businesses experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. The fund currently holds $50,000 with an initial investment from WFA’s own grant pool and funding from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. WFA’s goal is for the fund to reach $100,000, which would provide assistance to 20 women owned small businesses throughout the state. Learn more and apply >
Delta Dental of Arkansas Provides Financial Assistance to Arkansas Dental Practices and Qualifying Non-Profits
Delta Dental of Arkansas and the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation are providing some much-needed assistance to dental clinics and non-profit organizations that are helping communities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Delta Dental of Arkansas has committed a total of $6.5 million in emergency financial assistance to dental practices in Arkansas. The new program – the Delta Dental of Arkansas Advance Receipts Program – will provide financial support to dental practices, who are limited to providing only emergency services during the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation, which is the organization’s charitable giving arm, will offer a total of $500,000 in grants to community organizations for projects directly related to COVID-19. Learn more >
Hairdressers at Heart
Hairdressers At Heart was built to support and celebrate beauty professionals at every step of their careers –– even during this difficult time. Licensed professional hairstylists, nail techs, salon owners and educators can apply to receive one of 230 relief checks totaling up to $1,000 each to assist in their pandemic relief and recovery. https://www.beautyenvisionawards.com/hairdressersatheart
Artist Relief Grants
Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists. Learn more and apply >
Unemployment and Shared Work
If you become separated from employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may file an unemployment insurance claim through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (DWS). Gov. Hutchinson said he is directing the commerce department to waive immediate eligibility for unemployment. “This will be a relief to anyone who is laid off, that they can get more quick cash assistance to make sure their families are cared for," Gov. Hutchinson said. File your claim online.
Unemployed Arkansans to Receive Federal Aid
Unemployed Arkansans who have applied for state benefits soon will begin receiving an extra $600 weekly payment to help them weather the coronavirus pandemic. Payments could be posted to bank accounts and debit cards by midweek, state officials said Monday. Learn more >
Arkansas Division of Workforce Services
The Shared Work Program available through Arkansas Division of Workforce Services and the Department of Labor is a powerful tool to help you hold your employee team together. It allows an employer to divide available work or hours of work among a specific group(s) of employees in lieu of a layoff, and it allows the employees to receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. Learn more >