Community Improvement

Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Division of Rural Services

Rural Services Block Grant - Eligible to communities of less than 3,000 in population with at least a 51% Low to Moderate income range. Maximum $75,000 with 10% match. Eligible projects include renovation or new construction of community centers, fire station buildings, or multi-purpose centers, or the purchase of firefighting vehicles, specialized life-saving equipment such as the “jaws of life” and protective clothing worn by fire fighters. Visit for an application and to look up a community’s Low to Moderate income range or contact the DRS Block Grant Coordinator at 1-888-RURALAR.

Rural Community Development Grant - Funds projects for communities with population less than 3,000. Maximum of $15,000 with 50% match. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, construction or renovation of community centers, baseball/softball fields, walking tracks, park and playground equipment, pavilions and community beautification projects. Visit for an application.


Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Community Development Block Grant for General Assistance- $75,000 to $200,000 for public facilities and public infrastructure projects. These include: senior centers; child care centers; public health facilities; youth centers; accredited public libraries; removal of architectural barriers from city halls or county courthouses for accessibility; residential water and wastewater; street, curb, gutter, sidewalk, or storm sewer; flood control and drainage; and, other public facility or infrastructure project determined to be a high priority, which are not eligible to be funded under another CDBG program. (Communities under 3,000 with at least a 51% Low to Moderate Income level applying for projects involving a multipurpose center or fire protection are not eligible for the General Assistance and must apply for the Rural Services Block Grant)

Visit or call 1-800-ARKANSAS, (501) 682-1121.


Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant to fix up downtowns.  $5,000 to $10,000.

Model Business Grants provide matching funds for improvements at a local business that then serves as an example for other downtown businesses to emulate

Two Historic Preservation Restoration Grant options are available for rehabilitation of historic structures in Arkansas. One grant offers a maximum of $10,000 and the other offers a minimum of $10,000.

County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant – Total available to share among applicants per year is $150,000 - $1,000,000.

Contact Historic Preservation at 501-324-9880 or visit the AHPP website at


Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is a university-based economic development program that assists entrepreneurs, both new and seasoned. We help with every aspect of business creation, management, and operation. Through our eight locations around the state, ASBTDC works with all types of for-profit businesses, from home-based to high-tech. We provide one-to-one confidential consulting and cutting-edge market research at no charge, and conduct training events. Visit  for more information.



The Conductor is a public-private partnership in Conway Arkansas that empowers and inspires innovators, entrepreneurs, and makers. The Conductor serves an 11 county region in Central Arkansas and provides coaching and consulting for those interested in starting or growing their business, a Makerspace for prototyping engineering ideas, community business workshops,  structured programming for scaling startups, and summer entrepreneurial youth camps. Because of the unique relationship between Startup Junkie Consulting and the University of Central Arkansas, all Conductor activities are completely free of charge. For more information please visit or contact Rural Director Tiffany Henry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Communities Unlimited, Inc.
Communities Unlimited (CU) is a member of the National Rural Community Assistance Partnership Network. CU helps low-income rural communities construct, operate and maintain public drinking water and waste disposal facilities. Technical assistance is provided at no cost to communities. This assistance includes compliance with drinking water or pollution control regulations, financing access, development of your project, and education to local officials to ensure programs meet federal and state requirements, and training through continuous newsletters.  CU operates a loan program designed specifically for water, wastewater, and community facility projects.

Visit or contact:
Jerry Kopke
RCAP State Coordinator
3 East Colt Square Dr.
Fayetteville, AR  72703
Phone: (479) 443-2700 Ext 128
Fax: (479) 443-5036

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

Community and economic development education and technical assistance in the following areas: community & regional strategic planning; local foods system development; county government fiscal analysis: selling to local, state and federal government entities; entrepreneurial development; leadership development; and state and local ballot issues education. Contact Community & Economic Development at (501) 671-2072 or visit our website:


Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism

Matching Grant - Arkansas city and county governments may apply for up to $250,000 to acquire park land and/or develop public outdoor recreation facilities. This is a reimbursable grant and requires a 50% local match. Contact the Outdoor Grants Program at (501) 682-1301 or visit for more details.

FUN Park Grant - Arkansas cities with a population of 2,500 persons or less and unincorporated communities sponsored by their county may apply for up to $75,000 to develop public outdoor recreation facilities. No local match is required. Contact the Outdoor Grants Program at (501) 682-1301 or visit for more details.



EngageAR is a collaborative programmatic initiative to create a culture of service in Arkansas that permeates activities of family, education, business, government and the nonprofit.

EngageAR believes local communities know best how to solve local problems. The staff work to develop partnerships within government agencies, municipalities, institutions of education, and the nonprofit and faith-based sector, developing and promoting civic engagement to undergird the services offered through public agencies. The office oversees approximately 2.5 million in federal funding for national service programs.


University of Central Arkansas Center for Community and Economic Development

Our mission is to have a positive impact on communities by equipping leaders with economic tools and resources, building consensus to achieve community goals, and bringing UCA resources and communities together. Services include: business retention and expansion programs, benchmarking tours, community assessments, community and/or business survey development, economic and demographic data analysis, first impression driving tours, facilitation of town hall meets or focus groups, and community planning and customized training for local leaders. For more information: call 501-450-3460 or visit
UCA is also home to the Community Development Institute. More information at


US Small Business Administration

Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses. The SBA Arkansas District serves Arkansas with locations in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas. SBA Arkansas District staff provides resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – counseling, capital and contracting. Visit or follow @SBA_Arkansas on Twitter for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. The SBA’s Resource Guide for Arkansas can be found at


USDA Rural Development

Our mission is to help develop and sustain rural Arkansas' diversified, rapidly changing society by working in partnership with people and communities, and to assist them in improving their quality of life through financial and technical assistance. We accomplish this by helping with a wide range of projects that include Community Facility, Water and Wastewater, Business and Industry, and Housing. Visit our website at to get an overview of the Programs offered and the associated grants, loans, and loan guarantees available and to locate the contact information of the Rural Development Area Office serving the County in which you are located.