Federal $1 million grant to boost Arkansas businesses

UA Little Rock College of Business

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded more than $1 million to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to assist current and potential small business owners through the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.

Congress funds small business development centers across the country through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The centers provide technical assistance and comprehensive entrepreneurial services, including no-cost business consulting.

Scott A. Henry, acting associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Small Business Development Centers in Washington, D.C., announced the $1,021,536 federal grant award in February. It will fund services throughout 2016.

UALR and six partner universities match the federal grant annually to host the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center network of offices across Arkansas.

In addition to the lead center in the UALR College of Business, regional offices are located at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and University of Arkansas campuses at Fayetteville and Monticello.

Unique among Arkansas economic development organizations, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center serves businesses from any county in Arkansas, in any industry sector, at any stage of business development.

In 2015, the center helped clients obtain a record $65.3 million in capital funding for their businesses. The figure includes loans and other funding obtained by current and prospective small business owners with assistance from the center.

Part of UALR since 1982, the center has a long track record of success. During the past decade, its clients have an average sales growth 16 percent higher than the average Arkansas business and an average employment growth nearly 17 percent higher than the average Arkansas business.

Learn more about the center here (asbtdc.org).

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