Six women-owned businesses located throughout Arkansas have received a $5,000 grant to alleviate difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) distributed $30,000 in grants from its Women Owned fund, as part of a second cycle of grants, to the six businesses. To qualify for the grants, businesses had to be fully owned by women, employ 50 employees or less, and had to be operating with all required permits and be fully paid on taxes.
Established in 2018, the Women Owned fund is designed to provide access to capital for women-owned businesses. WFA executive director Anna Beth Gorman told Arkansas Money & Politics in an earlier interview that the fund is aimed at disrupting the problems women face in obtaining funding for their businesses. The reasoning for the new grants is simple for Gorman.“We’re doing this because we know that so many businesses are hurting,” she said.
The grant recipients are distributed throughout the state. The businesses that received the grants include:
- Career Development & Training Institute, LLC – West Memphis, AR
- Kiki Dance Studio & Wellness Center, LLC – Jonesboro, AR
- Praise Printing & Photography – El Dorado, AR
- Mell’s Beauty Studio – Fort Smith, AR
- Wonderlust Hair Studio LLC – Fayetteville, AR
- YGFBF Kitchen Mobile Food & Catering LLC – Conway, AR
“Our grant cycle ends today with the exciting announcement of six additional grantees, but our commitment to supporting women owned small business continues,” Ryder Buttry, WFA director of strategic programs and initiatives, said in a statement. “Through strategic partnerships, we will provide education and other resources to help women-owned small businesses weather and adapt to the new reality we live in due to COVID-19.”
In total, the WFA has distributed $80,000 in grants to Arkansas women-owned small businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the first grant cycle, the foundation distributed $50,000 to 10 small businesses, using funds from its own grant pool and funding from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.
According to a WFA news release, the second round of funding was enabled by contributions from the Arvest Bank Foundation, the Simmons Bank community development department and private donors.