As communities respond to COVID-19, please know that FORGE is monitoring the effects on our borrowers and the small business community. Our focus remains on our members and our mission. FORGE has been invested in the success of our members since 1988, and we are here for you today.
If your business is experiencing difficulties during this time, please contact the FORGE office to discuss the options and resources that are available. You may reach us at:
FORGE is in contact with the Small Business Administration and our local partners to provide support for the small business community across our service area during this unprecedented time.
FORGE is also taking responsible distancing measures to protect our staff, members, families, and the general population. While the FORGE team continues regular operations, we are limiting in-person contact and working remotely to best meet your needs.
SBA Payment Relief for current and new FORGE SBA microloans
The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months beginning with the first payment due on a loan after March 27, 2020.
The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
New SBA loans can not be used to refinance existing non-SBA FORGE loans. A single borrower is still limited to $50,000 combined under the microloan program.
Technical Assistance to support small businesses and nonprofits to navigate available programs and applications.
The staff members at FORGE are responding to phone calls and emails from FORGE members and non-members alike. We are working to help small businesses apply for federal programs and connect them with other resources available.
Rapid Response Loan for current FORGE borrowers
Through funding provided by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Community Foundation, FORGE has provided rapid response loans to existing borrowers to address the impact to small businesses due to the global pandemic. These loans are flexible, affordable, and rapidly deployed. FORGE is currently structuring additional loan products tailored to the needs of small business owners.
Opportunity Grants for current students and alumni of the Remix Business Academy
FORGE is providing $500 opportunity grants and 1:1 consulting with grantees to support ideas that identify opportunities for change and growth in the current economic climate.
Proposals are due by April 30. 2020.
Current students and alumni of the Remix Business Academy:
- Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center
- SCORE – Counselors and Mentors for America’s Small Businesses
- Arkansas Women’s Business Center
- AR Conductor
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidance for Business and Employers
- U.S. Small Business Administration Arkansas District Office