News and Updates

Grant to Aid the Arkansas Service and Hospitality Industries

FOR RELEASE – Dec. 23, 2020

Grants Awarded to Aid the Arkansas Service and Hospitality Industries

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) – The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism (ADPHT), the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) awarded $48 million in grant funds today to 2,136 Arkansas businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“The pandemic has hit the hospitality and personal-care industries particularly hard,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “The CARES Act grants will help stabilize these small businesses, which in turn will strengthen our economy. Before COVID-19, we had record-low unemployment, and the economy was booming. Small business owners were an essential element of Arkansas’s success, and they will be again soon”

Applicants were notified of grant awards from the Business Interruption Grant program today, and funds will be deposited into their bank accounts and available to them beginning tomorrow. The list of businesses and amounts received can be found here: > Download List

“This grant program has been a rewarding exercise with state agencies coming together to get financial assistance into the hands of struggling businesses,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “Members of the General Assembly provided key insights for making this an impactful program and helped get the word out so we reached as many Arkansans as we could. We hope this brings some relief in enabling businesses to continue to safely provide services during these challenging times.”

A total of 3,118 completed applications were submitted between Nov. 16 to Nov. 25. The pool of applicants was narrowed to a final 2,136 based on eligibility reviews and the validation of claims, documentation and other key application information.

The Business Interruption Grant program was created to provide economic assistance to certain Arkansas businesses in the personal care, tourism, travel, recreation and hospitality industries. These businesses were directly impacted by government mandates related to the public health emergency.

The grant provided reimbursement for a portion of specific eligible expenses incurred by businesses in these industries between March 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. Grants were awarded on a prorated basis depending on factors including the total number of applicants and the amount of reimbursement requested.

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

The $48 million in grant awards came from funding approved by the Arkansas CARES Act Steering Committee September 9, 2020. The Arkansas Legislative Council approved the grant program rules and authorized related appropriation requests on Oct. 16, 2020.

ADPHT served as project lead, and AEDC provided its guidance for the development of the program under its statutory authority. DFA provided program development and online support through its contracted consultants CTEH and Hagerty Consulting. Additionally, DFA coordinated the disbursement function of the grant awards.

Preceding and throughout the process, information about the grant was posted to www.ArkansasReady.com, applicants could email questions to BIGInfo@arkansas.gov and a grant help line was staffed to answer questions during the application period itself.

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The application period for the Business Interruption Grant has ended.

  • Evaluations have begun. We are not able to accept any updates to your application at this time.
  • Grantees will be notified of the results of the evaluation and the amount of any grant awards by Dec. 30, 2020.
  • The help line is no longer open. Any inquiries should go to BIGInfo@arkansas.gov.
  • Reviewers will contact applicants through the email address used to create and submit the application if there are any questions regarding the application.
  • Any communications regarding your grant application will come from donotreply@arbigportal.com.

> Adding Documents to the Claim Section

> View Frequenty Asked Questions and Answers

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FOR RELEASE – Nov. 16th, 2020

Applications start Nov. 16th at 8:00. You can fill out the application at https://www.arbigportal.com.

For assistance with the application view a demonstration HERE.

> View Checklist for Applicants | Español

> View Business Interruption Grant Rules | Español


FOR RELEASE – Nov. 13th, 2020


FOR RELEASE – Nov. 4th, 2020

The Business Interruption Grant provides relief funds to certain businesses affected by government-mandated COVID-19 closures and restrictions. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply at ArkansasReady.com.

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FOR RELEASE – Oct. 16, 2020

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) – 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 this morning approved 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 Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Arkansas small 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.

“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.