FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Northwest Arkansas Council are partnering on a Small Business Emergency Assistance program – an effort to support small businesses and nonprofits in the region impacted by the coronavirus.
“Given the current COVID-19 crisis and the consequential threat to the survival of many small businesses, this joint effort will provide a triage of services to help businesses and eligible nonprofits survive this crisis,” U of A Small Business and Technology Development Center Director Mary Beth Brooks said in a press release sent to KNWA/KFTA.
According to the release, the Small Business Emergency Assistance program will provide services free-of-charge to assist organizations with access to U.S. Small Business Administration and other federal, state and local programs through:
- Assistance with loan applications.
- Financial reviews.
- One-on-one counseling.
- Market research.
- Educational outreach.
- Business planning.
- Liaison to government agencies and lending institutions.
“Small businesses and nonprofits are the heartbeat of our community,” Northwest Arkansas Council President and CEO Nelson Peacock said in the release. “We need to ensure eligible organizations are aware of all the available state and federal resources and aid packages to help them weather this crisis.”
The Northwest Arkansas Council, in coordination with the Northwest Arkansas Chambers of Commerce and other local entities, will assist with staffing, communication and outreach efforts, ensuring that the needs of local businesses are matched with the appropriate experts, the release states.
Services are available for free to Northwest Arkansas-based organizations.
Some services are available to nonprofits that meet the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance funding requirements, according to the release.
In order to maintain safe social distancing practices, services will be provided remotely via phone and video conferencing.
The Walton Family Foundation provided a grant to the Northwest Arkansas Council at the recommendation of Steuart Walton and Tom Walton to support the Small Business Emergency Assistance program, the release states.