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Women’s Foundation of Arkansas offers COVID-19 grant to female business owners

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ​(April 6, 2020​) – ​The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (WFA) announced the creation of a grant fund to provide assistance to women owned small businesses experiencing hardship in the wake of COVID-19 today.

Women Owned: WFA’s relief fund for women owned small businesses is currently a $50,000 fund with initial investment from WFA’s own grant pool and funding from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. WFA aims to raise an additional $50,000 for a total of $100,000 granted out to women owned small businesses in the state. Grants will be $5,000 each.

“In the face of this unprecedented disruption to our economy, the WFA is prepared to champion some of our most vulnerable businesses,” said Anna Beth Gorman, executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. “Women, particularly minority women, have faced historical disadvantages accessing the capital necessary for a business to thrive and the WFA is providing grant funding as a resource to these business owners during this time of economic hardship created by COVID-19.”

Arkansas businesses experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19 that employ fifty individuals or less and are 100 percent owned by women will be eligible to apply as long as all their taxes are current and they are operating by law with all required permits. Applications will also be prioritized based on counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and high rates of business ownership among women, as well as industries mandated by state or local officials to close. Seventy-five percent of the funding will be dedicated to businesses owned at least 51 percent by a woman of color.

Applications are due Monday, April 13, 2020. The first half of funding will be announced by Friday, April 17, 2019. Applications not funded in the first round will automatically be considered for the second round. Eligible businesses can apply for funding at www.womensfoundationarkansas.org/women-owned​.

About the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas

Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’ (WFA) mission is to promote and foster programs, activities and opportunities that expand and strengthen the roles of women and girls in Arkansas. It is the only statewide foundation that focuses solely on improving their academic, economic and social well-being. To fulfill this mission, WFA serves as a grant-maker, a convener and a resource on the status of women and girls. It is the WFA’s belief that improving their lives not only advances gender equity, but also improves the health and wealth of families, communities and the state as a whole. Learn more at WomensFoundationArkansas.org

About the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

For more than 40 years, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has worked to make a difference by helping to build and sustain the organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas. Through grantmaking and strategic partnerships, WRF is working even harder to help close the economic and educational gaps that leave too many Arkansas families in persistent poverty. Working together, the needle can and must move from poverty to prosperity for all Arkansans. For more information on the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, go to www.wrfoundation.org .

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