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Grants For Arkansas Small Businesses in 2024

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your small business may have suffered significant revenue losses in 2024. Several business grant programs are available to small businesses, families, and communities. Through these resources and information, Arkansas's small businesses can use grants to grow, expand, remain competitive, and obtain capital in the future. Additionally, there's a growing need for business assistance, technical assistance, and other business services provided by various government entities.

Approximately $6.94 billion of Arkansas's government grants come from the federal government, and $5.60 billion comes from the state. Eligible businesses in Arkansas can benefit from this vast array of funds to gain access to capital and seek business financing from venture capital funds. There are no restrictions on what types of businesses can receive funds in Arkansas. Arkansas is home to approximately 51,425 businesses and 49,000 farms. Some of these funds can also be funneled into real estate ventures or to back loan funds for small businesses.

Businesses that qualify for grants can launch marketing campaigns, hire more staff, and bridge cash flow gaps. Payroll and salary budgets in Arkansas total $33.07 billion a year. This is why it's crucial for businesses to understand their government benefits, especially in times of crisis. A total of 16,874 bankruptcy petitions are filed each year in Arkansas. Business start-ups or expansions of existing businesses cannot receive grants. However, eligible applicants might consider tapping into venture capital funds or seeking academic training to enhance their business prospects. A private grant awarding body can provide grants to start-ups and expanding businesses instead of government agencies.

What Is a Grant?

It is often the case that authorities or agencies award funds to businesses or organizations to develop their business, expand, develop their products, or develop their projects. Grants do not require repayment, unlike loans that are secured or backed by the government. Unlike loans, grants can provide interest-free financing to businesses instead of requiring repayment. The main reason why grant programs are so popular is that they benefit business owners in this way.

Despite being low-cost options, grants cannot be easily applied for and administered. Funding can only be obtained by demonstrating that you can turn your small business into a success. Moreover, the blend of business assistance and technical assistance can play a pivotal role in securing these grants. Local governments, charities, and foundations provide a range of grant funding options.

Arkansas Small Grants

Residents of Arkansas can apply for a variety of grants. Business owners from Arkansas may access a variety of grants in 2024.

Amber Grants For Women

If you search Google for grants for women entrepreneurs, you'll find many websites that offer grants for women-owned businesses. Most internet users are already familiar with the myriad of scams abounding online and the confusing government websites (SBA) that are easily accessible on the internet. Several forms and applications will need to be filled out by you to obtain your personal and financial information.

Reach out to WomensNet for assistance in obtaining financing for your new business venture. It is best to finish the process as soon as possible, even if it takes time and effort. A lot of useful information can be found on this site for entrepreneurs seeking to take their business to the next level. Amber Grants is a great resource for women looking for grants for their business endeavors. 

Women-owned and operated businesses from all over the country (including Arkansas) are eligible to apply for this grant. If you are interested in applying for an Amber Grant, now is the time. There is a chance that you may be selected as one of the 12 monthly winners. Upon meeting their eligibility criteria and being selected as one of their 12 monthly winners, a grant of $25,000 will automatically be available to you. This grant can be awarded to the recipient over twelve months for $35,000. Grants of $35,000 can be awarded to recipients over 12 months.

Rural Relief Small Business Grants Program

Our LISC-Lowe's Rural Relief Small Business Grants program is available to small business owners in rural locations across the country as part of our commitment to elevating our impact in rural America.

Who is eligible?

The program is currently available only to small businesses in rural areas. The definition of a rural community has a population of 50,000 or less. An address is referred to as a community if it is located in a city, town, or village. During non-business hours, use the address where your vehicle is stored if your business is mobile (a food truck, fishing boat, rideshare driver, etc.)

It would be helpful for potential applicants to review our FAQs and grant information before applying. The relief funding program at this time is not open to non-profit organizations but may be open to them in the future.

GrantWatch

The Arkansas GrantWatch website helps small businesses find grants related to their needs. Aside from business loans and grants, the website also provides grants and loans from the federal, state, and local governments. You can find grant writers in GrantWatch, a free tool that aids you in finding new grants if you are searching for grants. GrantWatch, a free tool, can assist you in preparing winning grant proposals. You must answer a few simple questions to complete the grant application process. 

Those who subscribe to Arkansas GrantWatch have access to the service's information. Alternatively, you can pay $18 per week for the service at $199 per year. The free membership does not entitle members to apply for grants.

Arkansas Department Of Commerce Quick Action Loan Guaranty Program

To address the immediate needs of businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Arkansas Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the Quick Action Loan Guaranty Program. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) will administer the program in partnership with Arkansas banks.

The program is funded through allocations of $4,000,000 from the Quick Action Closing Fund of the Governor and $3,000,000 from the Consumer Education and Enforcement Fund of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Guaranty loans will receive some funding, while direct loans will receive funding from AEDC.

In the Quick Action Loan Guaranty program, AEDC will guarantee up to 80% of the principal balance of loans issued by participating lenders. You may use the funds to provide working capital for your business, purchase inventory, pay your employees, and for other purposes that enable your business to continue operating. 

Blue & You Foundation Grants

Blue & You grant opens on April 15 and closes on July 15. Applicants are encouraged to apply for these grants if they are committed to improving the health of Arkansans. The Arkansas Health Department focuses on health initiatives that improve health equity and address the social determinants of health to make communities better places to live, work and learn.

There is a range of $5,000 - $150,000 in grant amounts awarded by Blue & You each December 15. A total of $3,36 million in Blue & You grants were awarded by the Blue & You Foundation in 2021.

Mini-Grants

The mini-grants range from $500 to $2,000 and focus on food security, emergency response equipment such as AEDs, Narcan and Stop the Bleed Kits, and health initiatives that benefit schools, colleges, and universities. January 1 marks the start of the grant cycle, and February 15 marks the end. Grant awards are announced on March 15. Two hundred thirty mini-grants were awarded in 2022, totaling over $401,500 to community-based organizations across the state.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What types of small business grants are available in Arkansas?

Small business grants in Arkansas are available through various federal, state, and local government programs, as well as private organizations and foundations. Some popular grant programs in Arkansas include the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) programs, the Minority Business Grant, and the Rural Business Development Grant.

How can I find and apply for small business grants in Arkansas?

To find and apply for small business grants in Arkansas, start by researching available grant programs through government websites, such as the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). You can also explore local chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations for potential funding opportunities. Once you have identified relevant grant opportunities, review the eligibility criteria, application guidelines, and deadlines. Gather required documentation, such as your business plan, financial statements, and tax records, and submit a complete application according to the grant program's instructions.

What tips can you provide for Arkansas small businesses seeking grants?

For Arkansas small businesses seeking grants, it's essential to ensure eligibility for the specific grant program you're applying for. Thoroughly research available programs and maintain a list of potential funding opportunities. Develop a clear understanding of application guidelines and ensure that your application is complete, accurate, and free of errors. Be proactive in searching for grant opportunities and follow up with relevant organizations to stay informed about available funding. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from local business development centers, mentors, or professional grant writers to improve your chances of success.

Expand your funding search beyond Arkansas by exploring the diverse grant opportunities available in Illinois. Our latest blog post on Illinois small business grants could unveil a plethora of options to fuel your business growth. Venture into the possibilities that neighboring states have to offer and enrich your financial strategy!

The Bottom Line

There are a variety of resources available to small business owners through the Arkansas Small Business Development Center (CTSBDC). Governments and private organizations are providing financial assistance to small businesses affected by Coronavirus. As a result of providing financial aid to small businesses, the economy can be boosted in many ways. You can choose from the above list of funding sources if you need funding for your company.

Interested in exploring grants just one state over? Visit our latest blog post to explore the diverse small business grants available in Louisiana. Compare your options and enhance your strategy for securing the perfect grant for your business.

Looking to expand your grant search beyond Arkansas? Venture over to our latest blog post detailing Small Business Grants in South Carolina. Uncover a fresh spectrum of funding opportunities awaiting to propel your business forward. Explore now and step closer to securing the support your venture needs.

If you live in Florida instead, check out our article about small business grants in Arizona.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations' blog section today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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