An Axios analysis of Small Business Administration data shows that nearly half of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants awarded in Arkansas went to women-owned restaurants or food businesses.
Context: The SBA initially gave priority access to small businesses that are majority-owned by women, veterans, or those who are socially and economically disadvantaged by giving them a 21-day head start on the application process.
Yes, but: Some business owners that don't fall into those categories felt they were being discriminated against and sued. Judges agreed the process was discriminatory.
- As a result, nearly 3,000 restaurant owners who received award letters had grants rescinded in mid-June. It's unclear if any of them were Arkansas businesses.
- Plus: We told you last week about how overwhelming demand for the program left most Arkansas grant applicants without funds.
Why it matters: Despite SBA's reversal mid-course, the majority of grants awarded in Arkansas (83%) will go to those who qualified for priority status.
By the numbers: The fund awarded 507 Arkansas businesses a total of $93.4 million.
- 241 women-owned businesses will receive about 30% of the funds, or $28.4 million.
- Two businesses qualified for all three priority statuses: the owner of a Pizza Hut in Little Rock and a caterer in Jacksonville.
- 16 are both veteran- and woman-owned.
- 21 are both socioeconomically disadvantaged and woman-owned.
Of note: 10 operators were awarded 21% of the money. Of those, only three qualified for SBA's priority access: Arthur's Prime Steakhouse of Little Rock; the Golden Corral in Jonesboro; and Ouachita Coffee Roasters in Mena.
- All three are classified as socioeconomically disadvantaged.
The top 10 by money awarded are:
- Golden Corral, Jonesboro ($4.2 million)
- Jetty Entertainment, Fayetteville (parent company of JJ's Grill, $2.3 million)
- Ouachita Coffee Roasters, Mena ($2 million)
- Turf Catering, Hot Springs ($1.9 million)
- JRAN Inc., Fort Smith (Western Sizzlin Steakhouse, $1.7 million)
- JBGB, Fayetteville (sister company to Jetty Entertainment, $1.6 million)
- Cheers at OPO, Fayetteville ($1.6 million)
- Golden Corral, Fayetteville ($1.5 million)
- Arthur's Prime Steakhouse, Little Rock ($1.5 million)
- C&S Deli, Inc., Maumelle ($1.4 million)
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