FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — At 6 p.m. the Black Ownership Bus Tour will listen to five selected Fort Smith Black business owners on a pitch competition for a $5,000 business grant.

ReMix Ideas helps advance Black entrepreneurs by building new relationships, fostering collaboration and mobilizing resources, according to the website. This year the bus visited Northwest Arkansas cities through a partnership with Visionairi Enterprises.

“Visionairi is thrilled to partner with ReMix Ideas to bring the Black Ownership Bus Tour to Northwest Arkansas,” said Drs. Airic and Synetra Hughes, Co-founders of Visionairi. “The tour stimulates Black entrepreneurship through strategic investments, as well as connecting businesses and stakeholders throughout the region.”

The tour helps understand the challenges and opportunities Black-owned businesses have in the region. The day long event helps bankers that are attending understand how to better engage and help Black-owned businesses. Partnerships with

“This tour gives me, as a banker, first-hand knowledge of the successes as well as the challenges facing Black-owned businesses,” said Cassandra Kidd with US Bank. “I believe this tour is just the type of grassroots effort needed to address three of the most prominent gaps facing these businesses today: access to information, connections and capital.”

Fort Smith business owners can take their pitches with them to the 31st Event Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The bus tour has made stops in Northwest Arkansas cities such as Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville and Rogers from March 27 to the 29. The tour will conclude in Little Rock on March 31.