Oct 16, 2020

State to Allocate $50 Million in Grants for Service and Hospitality Small Businesses

UPDATE: The program will open application on Monday, November 16th and close Wednesday, November 25th. The grant will provide reimbursement for a portion of specific eligible expenses incurred by businesses in the personal care, tourism, travel, recreation, and hospitality industry between March 1st and September 30th of 2020. 

The grant application can be found on Nov. 16 at ArkansasReady.com. A checklist of things to prepare can also be found there.


The state of Arkansas is allocating $50 million in CARES Act funding to the Business Interruption Grant Program, which will provide a direct grant opportunity to service and hospitality small businesses. 

The Business Interruption Grant Program will provide a direct grant opportunity to Arkansas small businesses having 250, or fewer, full time employees located in Arkansas for expenses associated with COVID-19 mitigation and for certain listed business interruption expenses due directly to local, state, or federal government COVID-19 directives and arising through no fault of the business. 

The grant program will provide first-time, or otherwise supplemental, financial assistance for certain eligible cash business expenses incurred as a direct result of COVD-19 mitigation or for certain listed ordinary business expenses incurred by an eligible business as a direct result of a government-mandated business closure or restriction. The program will utilize funds provided to the state of Arkansas through the federal CARES Act.

“Eligible Business” under this grant program, means a for-profit corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship (including independent contractors), limited liability company, joint venture or non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that meets the following criteria: 

  • Operates primarily within the Arkansas personal care, tourism, travel, recreation, hospitality or related industries; 

  • Was established on or before March 1, 2020; 

  • Has an established tax identification number in the state of Arkansas; 

  • Current Economic Uncertainty makes this assistance necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant;

  • If formally organized, is incorporated under the laws of Arkansas or is registered to do business in Arkansas with the Arkansas Secretary of State and, in any case, is listed as being in “Good Standing.” If not incorporated, a business/professional license, sales tax permit, utility bill or bank statement in the name of the business is required as supporting documentation that the business is a bona fide business;

  • Is headquartered in Arkansas or has employees working in Arkansas;

  • Employed an average of two hundred fifty (250), or fewer, Full Time Arkansas Employees per Eligible Business as of September 30, 2020;

  • Must either have:

    • Customers and/or employees physically coming to their Arkansas business premises; or

    • Must conduct business on customer premises in Arkansas;

  • Is not under a bankruptcy order and does not have a pending bankruptcy filing at the time the Application is submitted. An Applicant that files for bankruptcy while the Application is pending shall notify the grant program and withdraw its Application under the program.

  • Does not presently have any tax liens with respect to any unpaid tax owing to the State of Arkansas except for those businesses that have applied for and received a repayment plan from the State of Arkansas and are not in default of that payment plan; and

  • Eligible Businesses shall not include, without limitation, the following:

    • Government entities and quasi-governmental entities such as Government-owned non-profits; and

    • Annual and seasonal indoor and outdoor festivals such as county fairs and carnivals

For full details on eligible businesses, eligible expenses and more information about this grant program, please click here