University of Arkansas & NWA Council Partner to Support Small Businesses and Non-Profits

03.31.20 | Runway

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. The program website is available here.

“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,” said Mary Beth Brooks, director, U of A Small Business & Technology Development Center.

The Small Business Emergency Assistance program will provide services free-of-charge to assist organizations with access to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and other federal, state and local programs by:

  • 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,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “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.”

For more information or to participate in the program, organizations can email BusHelp@uark.edu, call (479) 575-5148 or visit the program website.

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 the needs of local businesses are matched with the appropriate experts.

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.

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.