With a new grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will begin creating an economic recovery plan and developing a history of COVID-19’s economic impact on Arkansas.
The Economic Development Administration has awarded UA-Little Rock with $300,000 – part of $7.8 million in funding the agency has distributed throughout the nation through EDA CARES Recovery Assistance grants. These funds are designed for universities to support economic development in the wake of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis.
UA Little Rock will be using the funds to create an Arkansas Recovery and Resiliency Plan. This project will be spearheaded by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) in collaboration with Arkansas State University and eight planning and economic development districts throughout the state.
“For the first 12 months of the project, we are historically documenting what has happened in Arkansas since March in regards to COVID-19,” Jim Youngquist, AEDI executive director, said in a statement. “We are getting on-the-ground information for all 75 counties from small businesses, industry, healthcare, education, and local, state, and federal governments. We’ve already interviewed more than 500 people across the state from various sectors.”
To develop the recovery plan, AEDI will be contacting all of the chambers of commerce in Arkansas. These contacts will show the economic impact on local business, and AEDI economists will analyze data to show how the state’s economy has been affected.
The EDA grant will provide training, resources, and planning assistancefor a range of entities, ranging from local government, educational institutions, small businesses, health care organizations and more.