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story.lead_photo.caption Larry Walther, right, Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration and Jake Bleed, state budget director, talk Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020 during the first day of budget hearings at the state Capitol. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal) ( Arkansas Democrat-Gazette / Staton Breidenthal)

The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration received approval to proceed with a grant program utilizing $50 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds.

Funds will be used for Arkansas businesses in industries significantly impacted by the covid-19 public health emergency, according to press releases from the Arkansas State Chamber and Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Arkansas Legislative Council approved a business interruption grant for certain Arkansas businesses in the personal care, tourism, travel, recreation and hospitality industries. The grant will provide reimbursement for a portion of specific eligible expenses incurred by businesses in these industries between March 1 and Sept. 30, according to the releases.

Arkansas small businesses having 250 or fewer full-time employees located in Arkansas may seek reimbursement for expenses associated with covid-19 mitigation or certain listed business interruption expenses due directly to local, state or federal government covid-19 directives. Grants are up to $250,000 each.

Applicants may plan an application with a Facebook Live question and answer session the week of Nov. 2 and an applicant help phone line opening on Nov. 9, one week before the application period opens. All applications will be completed online.

A link to the application is available at: www.ArkansasReady.com.

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