The Arkansas CARES Act Steering Committee, established in 2020 to distribute $1.25 billion that the state government received as part of federal coronavirus relief legislation, appropriated $48 million for the Business Interruption Grant program to assist the service and hospitality industries.
Administered by the state Department of Parks, Heritage & Tourism, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Department of Finance & Administration, the BIG program awarded all but 11 cents of its appropriation to 2,136 businesses out of 3,118 applications received during the application period in November. The recipients were announced on Dec. 23.
The BIG program was limited to businesses with 250 or fewer employees in the personal care, tourism, travel, recreation and hospitality industries. The grants reimbursed a portion of eligible expenses associated with COVID-19 mitigation or government directives.
The maximum BIG grant was $250,000, and 15 companies received that maximum. The 78 companies that received at least $100,000 are listed. “Doing business as” names have been included when they were available from the grant program or from the Arkansas secretary of state’s office.