Winrock International starts small business program in Phillips County

by George Jared ([email protected]) 656 views 

Winrock International is providing small businesses in Phillips County with one-on-one guidance on how to navigate funding available through recent federally-approved programs.

With only a fraction of the more than 200,000 small businesses in Arkansas applying for funding offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other federal agencies, Winrock hopes to ensure that Phillips County’s small business owners can access federal resources.

With funding from the Walton Family Foundation, Winrock will provide technical assistance to help the small business owners determine their needs, complete forms, draft loan applications, navigate federal assistance programs and decide the next best steps for their businesses, including follow-up consultations for additional business development needs.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of Arkansas’s rural communities,” said Linsley Kinkade, senior director of U.S. Programs at Winrock International.  “We know the majority of people living and working in Phillips County are employed by small businesses. We also know only a small percentage of those businesses have applied for available federal resources. This funding ensures these critical businesses have access to the resources available to keep their doors open and our fellow Arkansans employed while the economy recovers.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 economic downturn, Arkansas’ small businesses have been forced to dramatically alter their business models or close their doors temporarily. Those with low margins will soon be deciding whether to close their doors permanently.

According to the U.S. Census and the Small Business Administration, up to 95% of Phillips County residents are employed by one of its 1,500 small businesses. Winrock launched this pilot project with a two-pronged approach of targeted outreach and dedicated technical assistance available for over 200 small businesses.

“Winrock’s U.S. Programs remains committed to the goals of our founder, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, and we are intensely dedicated to improving lives and increasing economic opportunities for Arkansans,” Kinkade said. “Companies in Phillips County need support right now, and we are here to provide the support they need to respond, rebuild and recover.”

Small business owners interested in receiving assistance with business development needs or loan application assistance can visit this website to complete a short form. Once submitted, an application assistance specialist will be in touch to discuss needs and opportunities.