JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro received over $368,000 in community block grants for COVID-19 and decided to put that money back into the community.
They are offering small business emergency grants throughout the city, but, so far, no one has applied for the grant.
Regina Burkett, the city’s community development director, said $1,000 to $10,000 grants are available for small businesses.
The money can be used for things like personal protective equipment, rent or utility payments, or payroll.
There are some requirements.
“All is based on employing one full time or part-time permanent employee,” said Angy Abaunga, manager of the Community Development Block Grant. “It could be that they could create a position, or retain a position that they already have.”
Other requirements include:
- The small business must be for-profit and have between 3 and 20 employees.
- Be an established business for over two years with a City of Jonesboro Privilege License.
- Provide proof of the business being affected by COVID-19.
- Must have a DUNS number and be registered with the System for Award Management.
The DUNS number and the SAM registration are required since the funds come from a federal grant.
“That is a requirement that we have to have it can take a few weeks to get your SAM registration,” said Lakyn Williams, city grant writer.
The applications for the grant are due July 31, but Burkett said the deadline may have to be extended.
Her office has received some inquiries about the grant but nobody has applied for it yet.
When asked why she thought nobody had applied, Burkett said registering with SAM can be difficult.
“I think it may be sometimes that can be difficult, and I’m afraid that might turn people away,” Burkett said.
Williams said the SAM registration is free and if you are being asked to pay, you’re on the wrong website.
Burkett also said it could be that people do not know that the grant is available.
If people are having a difficult time registering with SAM or filling out the application, all three women said you can call their office and get help.
“We need small businesses to apply,” Burkett said. “This money is here for them and for this community.”
For a link to the grant, click here.