Small business loan program announced by AEDC and Downtown Little Rock Partnership

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Maria Luisa Haley, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Sharon Priest, executive director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, today jointly announced the Pulaski Empowerment Zone Small Business Loan Program for small businesses in the Pulaski County Empowerment Zone. The announcement was made to more than 700 people during a luncheon at the Downtown Little Rock Partnership’s annual meeting.


“Small business is truly the backbone of economic development,” said Haley. “Through this new loan program, it is my hope that small businesses in the Pulaski Empowerment Zone will have one more tool they can use to grow and thrive. I thank the Downtown Little Rock Partnership for joining us on such a great program and I look forward to the positive impact and benefits these loans will provide over the coming years.”


AEDC and DLRP will participate equally in the loan program. The DLRP’s portion of the loan funding was provided by the City of Little Rock and the City of North Little Rock Community Development Block Grant Programs.


“Little Rock is home to many small business success stories,” said Sharon Priest, executive director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership. “If you walk through downtown Little Rock, you see that many entrepreneurs have chosen to start a small business in our thriving downtown area. The Pulaski Empowerment Zone Small Business Loan Program was created with the hope and vision that these businesses and others will provide long-term sustainability and profitability. This is a wonderful program and I encourage local businesses to use this new resource.”


The loans will be made in amounts ranging from $5,000.00 to $50,000.00. In order to apply, a business must:

ÿ Be located in the Pulaski County Empowerment Zone.

ÿ Be a small business of 25 or less employees.

ÿ Create or retain at least one job.

ÿ Present a business plan upon application.

ÿ Pay back the loan 60 months or less.

ÿ Have been in business at least one year or have demonstrated experience in the proposed business area.

ÿ Pay a $50 application fee.

ÿ Provide financial statements every quarter.


Additional terms and conditions are also considered. For additional information or to apply for a Pulaski Empowerment Zone Small Business Loan, contact AEDC’s Small and Minority Business Division at 501-682-6105 or the Downtown Little Rock Partnership at 501-375-0121.


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