The Associated Press August 24, 2011, 11:34AM ET

Arkansas development project getting $1.9M grant

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a $1.99 million grant to help fund an economic development project in Helena-West Helena in Arkansas.

HUD officials said Tuesday the grant from the Rural Innovation Fund will be given to Southern Bancorp Capital Partners of Arkadelphia to support existing business and entrepreneurs and provide support services and incentives to homeowners.

The money is slated to go toward a new downtown Helena-West Helena mixed-use retail and housing development; a loan loss reserve and business loan fund; employer incentives for job creation and other uses.

HUD officials say the program will create 14 new businesses, 98 new jobs and help 155 homeowners purchase or repair their homes.

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