UA, Northwest Arkansas Council partner to support small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 884 views 

The University of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) and the Northwest Arkansas Council are partnering on a Small Business Emergency Assistance program.

In a Tuesday (March 31) news release, the program is described as 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,” ASBTDC director Mary Beth Brooks said in a statement

The Small Business Emergency Assistance program will provide free services to assist organizations with access to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 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,” 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 [email protected], 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 program will serve Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton, Searcy and Washington counties.

The Walton Family Foundation provided a grant to the Northwest Arkansas Council at the recommendation of Walmart heirs Steuart Walton and Tom Walton to support the Small Business Emergency Assistance program.