Women-owned businesses across Arkansas have another funding source to help them navigate financial challenges related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) is making $5,000 cash grants to applicants experiencing hardships related to COVID-19.
“In the face of this unprecedented disruption to our economy, the WFA is prepared to champion some of our most vulnerable businesses,” said Anna Beth Gorman, executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. “Women, particularly minority women, have faced historical disadvantages accessing the capital necessary for a business to thrive and the WFA is providing grant funding as a resource to these business owners during this time of economic hardship created by COVID-19.”
Arkansas businesses experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19 that employ 50 individuals or less and are 100% owned by women will be eligible to apply as long as all their taxes are current and they are operated by law with all required permits.
Applications will also be prioritized based on counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and high rates of business ownership among women, as well as industries mandated by state or local officials to close. WFA said 75% of the funding will be dedicated to businesses that are owned by women of color.
The new relief fund was kicked off with a $50,000 initial investment from WFA’s own grant pool and funding from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. WFA aims to raise an additional $50,000 for a total of $100,000 granted out to women-owned small businesses in the state. At $5,000 each, that would be 20 total grants.
Applications are due Monday, April 13. The first half of funding will be announced by Friday, April 17. Applications not funded in the first round will automatically be considered for the second round.
Eligible businesses can apply online immediately.