As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise throughout the country, so does its devastating impact on small businesses, nonprofits and the employees that work for them. With forced closures and social distancing causing a reduction in work force and foot traffic, financial hardships are greater than ever.
We have compiled a list of many government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations that are extending support at this time.
This list of resources is designed to provide information and relief for small businesses, individuals and nonprofits. We’ll be adding to this list as the situation develops, so check back for updates.
Arkansas Community Foundation does not provide COVID-19 relief funding to individuals. However, for a list of nonprofits in your area, visit our directory here. Or click here to see a list of nonprofits near you that received a grant from our COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Resources for Small Businesses
- Rural Lisc is accepting small business grant applications Jan. 26 – Feb. 1, 2021: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/rural-relief-small-business-grants/
- Contact your local Chamber of Commerce. Many of these organizations have been studying federal, state and local government relief program guidelines and can help you understand the benefits available to businesses or refer you to other resources.
- Contact a Small Business/Entrepreneurship Support Organization in your area. These organizations provide many different kinds of assistance to small businesses. Though they may not be providing assistance directly with COVID-19 relief, they are likely to have good information for you about options that may be available to support your business during this time. Some are co-working spaces, others provide classes or coaching, some assist with business plan development and market research, and still others connect businesses with different forms of financial support. Since each organization has a slightly different mission, we encourage you to visit their websites to learn more about the services they provide. Some options in Arkansas:
- Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (multiple locations) http://asbtdc.org/
- The Venture Center https://www.venturecenter.co/
- Arkansas Women’s Business Center (El Dorado) https://www.winrock.org/work/enterprise-incubator/arkansas-womens-business-center/arkansas-womens-business-center-services/
- Startup Junkie (NWA) https://www.startupjunkie.org/
- The Generator (Pine Bluff) https://goforwardpinebluff.org/the-generator/
- Resources for Minority and Women Owned Businesses are available through the Arkansas Economic Development Corporation. https://www.arkansasedc.com/business-resources/minority-and-women-owned-business-resources
- Community Development Financial Institutions are often a resource for lending and getting technical assistance. They may be able to assist you with information about the CARES Act as well as different ways to apply for business or personal loans. Each organization provides slightly different services, so we encourage you to check out their websites or call for more information.
- Southern Bancorp, https://banksouthern.com/
- Communities Unlimited, https://communitiesu.org/
- FORGE, https://www.forgefund.org/
- HOPE Credit Union, https://hopecu.org/
- The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act is providing small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead. https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/assistance-for-small-businesses
- The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program provides an alternative for employers faced with a reduction in their work force. https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/employers/shared-work-program/
- Resources for businesses and employees: https://www.arkansasedc.com/covid19
- State of Arkansas listing of resources for employers and employees: https://www.labor.arkansas.gov//Websites/labor/images/COVID-19%20Page3.pdf
- A comprehensive guide to help businesses protect their workplace and keep their employees safe and secure. Also includes a list of Financial Assistance Programs available to them.
- A grant program for certain Arkansas businesses in the personal care, tourism, travel, recreation and hospitality industries. A link to the application will be posted on www.ArkansasReady.com.
Resources for Nonprofit Organizations
The Nonprofit Finance Fund has a Covid-19 resource page with tools to help you project cash flow, plan for various scenarios and assess your financial needs. https://nff.org/covid-19-tools-and-resources-nonprofits
IndependentSector.org has up-to-date information on the impact of current COVID-19 news on the nonprofit sector. https://independentsector.org/covid19/
The National Council of Nonprofits has resources for nonprofits, including analysis of the 2020 year-end COVID relief bill: https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/nonprofits-and-coronavirus-covid-19
The Chronicle of Philanthropy has coverage of nonprofit fundraising during the pandemic, including examples of successful campaigns and tips for fundraisers: https://www.philanthropy.com/package/covid-19-coverage-fundraising-during-the-pandemic
Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance periodically has grant opportunities available. Become a member with them or check their website periodically for grant opportunities. https://www.arhungeralliance.org/about/membership/
Blue & You Foundation has regular grants $5,000 – $150,000 awards with an application deadline on July 15, 2021. Minigrants of $1,000 each are decided on a rolling basis through February 15, 2021. http://www.blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org/application
Centerpoint Energy is accepting grant applications Jan. 4 – Feb. 15, 2021: https://www.centerpointenergy.com/en-us/residential/in-your-community/giving-back/corporate-giving/application-process?sa=MN
Resources for Individuals
- For information about Education resources, http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/ is the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Department of Education. There is a section on Homeschooling and then one on COVID-19 where you can get more information.
- Arkansas has a new telephone system to help individuals find nonprofit organizations and agencies that are providing the kind of assistance they need. You can dial 211 on your telephone to be connected to an operator, or visit their website at https://arkansas211.org/.
- Local Community Action Agencies across the state are set up to help individuals receive assistance through programs like food and utility assistance, Head Start, housing assistance, meals on wheels and other services. They can help connect you with resources in your area or help you apply for any benefits you may be eligible for. Here’s a webpage where you can find contact info for the Action Agency closest to you: http://www.acaaa.org/local-community-action-agencies/
- Resources for business and employees: https://www.arkansasedc.com/covid19
- Legal Aid of Arkansas’ Emergency Guide to Benefits:
- Arkansas Access for Justice is the only free civil legal aid organization in the state. https://arkansasjustice.org/
- The Our House Career Center is launching a Jobs and Resources Hotline to provide support to the community over the phone! If you are out of work or in need of resources because of COVID-19, call 501-291-0584 (Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm)
- Resources for individuals in the Northwest Arkansas area: https://www.harknwa.com/getconnected
- FEMA’s Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program: For more info click here
- For utility assistance for individuals: https://mcaeoc.com/