If you have a new small business or are thinking of starting one, right now may not seem like a good time. Though the future is uncertain, economic experts contend that now is a good time to start a business.
If you live in Arkansas, a number of resources are available, both government-sponsored and otherwise, to get you started or take your business to the next level.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
The AEDC website has an incredible amount of information for businesses of any size looking to do business in Arkansas. They offer contact information for AEDC experts in fourteen business divisions. The website itself offers:
- commercial property search
- data & reports
- investment, tax, and specialized incentives offered by the state
- resources for small business
U.S. Small Business Administration
Small Business Resource Guide
The Small Business Administration publishes the annual Small Business Resource Guide for Arkansas. The guide includes clear information on starting a small business in Arkansas, writing a business plan, connecting to your local Chamber of Commerce, finding a lender or funding program, and more.
Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center
The ASBTDC is an economic development program from the Small Business Administration that assists both new and existing businesses grow. They “help with every aspect of business creation, management, and operation.” Services include consultations for business planning, market research, finance, and technology. Most of their services are free of charge, but they also offer affordable training courses.
The ASBTDC is university-based and is located at eight educational institutions around the state.
- Little Rock: University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business (Lead Center)
- Arkadelphia: HSU Arkadelphia at the Center for Economic Development and Community Engagement
- Hot Springs: HSU Hot Springs at the Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce
- Fayetteville: UAF Fayetteville
- Jonesboro: ASU Jonesboro at Delta Center for Economic Development
- Magnolia: SAU Magnolia
- Monticello: UAM Monticello at Babin Business Center
- Russellville: ATU Russellville at Rothwell Hall
Conductor is a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie that serves entrepreneurs in central Arkansas. They offer free one-on-one consultations, a rural outreach initiative, and a unique program for high-growth ventures called the 10X Growth Accelerator.
Resources for Women and Minorities
Arkansas Women’s Business Center
The AWBC provides technical assistance, training, and access to capital services for women business owners. Located in El Dorado on the South Arkansas Community College campus, the staff and team of professional consultants provide technical and financial assistance to women entrepreneurs.
Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Division of the AEDC
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise division promotes the growth and sustainability of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises by providing them with networking, capital and contracting opportunities.
Quick Action Loan Program
The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Quick Action Loan Program provides assistance businesses affected by COVID-19. For information on applying, contact COVID10.firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (501) 682-1121.
Federal Loan Programs
Visit the SBA website to see the federal government’s funding options for COVID-19, including:
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For more information, find a local agent near you.