LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — More than 8,000 businesses will receive money from the state in the coming days to help them re-open and offset the impacts of COVID-19.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that 8,198 businesses were approved.
"I just got approval for that and I believe the money will be deposited in the next few days," Shelley Green said.
Shelley Green owns the Green Corner store in SoMa. She is one of more than 8,000 business owners who applied for the Arkansas Ready for Business Grant.
"It's going to help tremendously. There's a lot of extra expenses that we are just now beginning to realize how much it's going to cost us to reopen," she said.
It'll help owners like Green pay for PPE, and the equipment they need to keep their shops clean.
"Such as hand sanitizers and extra cleaning, we'll be needing extra supplies for that. Signs and directional to let people know, so that they can social distance," Green said.
The need for these supplies is not short-term and will add up as this pandemic stretches on.
"It's not just for a couple of weeks. This grant will allow us to be able to replenish what we're spending for these things through the end of the year," Green said.
Jack Sundell, owner of the Root Cafe and Mockingbird, considers this grant a lifeline. Sundell decided not to reopen his dining rooms for the time-being.
"We were just not sure we were ready to put our staff in that situation," he said.
Even though he is sticking to curbside pickup, there is still a lot of expenses this grant will help with.
"Down the street at Mockingbird, we just reopened for curbside two weeks ago and sales are at best half of what they were when we were open. It's a real struggle to maintain inventory in the situation," Sundell said.
Both Green and Sundell are grateful the governor is keeping small businesses like them in mind.
"You want to do the right thing and you want to do everything the best that you can. So, I'm really pleased to be able to have that," Green said.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson says some businesses received that money Friday, while the rest will have it deposited over the weekend.