Final hurdle cleared for grant program to help service, hospitality businesses hurt by COVID-19

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 590 views 

The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) received approval to proceed with a grant program utilizing $50 million in CARES Act funds for Arkansas businesses in industries significantly impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Arkansas Legislative Council approved Friday (Oct. 16) a business interruption grant for certain Arkansas businesses in the personal care, tourism, travel, recreation and hospitality industries.

The grant will provide reimbursement for a portion of specific eligible expenses incurred by businesses in these industries between March 1 and Sept. 30, 2020.

The grant application period will open Monday, Nov. 16 and close Wednesday, Nov. 25. Grants will be awarded on a prorated basis depending on the total number of applicants and the amount of reimbursement requested. The program anticipates making grant awards in late December.

“In my visits with business owners over the past several months, I’ve been impressed with the measures they have taken to protect customers and employees, and to adapt business models that have kept them viable during this pandemic. The grant will help businesses that were disrupted by the precautions necessary to
mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Arkansas businesses having 250 or fewer full-time employees located in Arkansas may seek reimbursement for expenses associated with COVID-19 mitigation or certain listed business interruption expenses due directly to local, state or federal government COVID-19 directives.

Details regarding the grant rules can be accessed here.

“We have heard the businesses in the hospitality and personal care industries who continue to be impacted by this pandemic and desperately need help to continue to operate and to do so safely,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “With the help of AEDC and DFA, I think we have developed an excellent program that will provide the most help we can give where it is most sorely needed.”

Information will be regularly posted to www.ArkansasReady.com about the grant, the application period, training and a help line.

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