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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Former Razorback Jake Bequette helps local businesses struggling during pandemic

Jake Bequette started "The Arkansas Fund" organization when the pandemic started. The organization has raised more than $100,000 so far.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — A former Razorback and New England Patriot was in Fort Smith Monday (March 1) to help local businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jake Bequette started "The Arkansas Fund" organization when the pandemic started. The organization has raised more than $100,000 so far.

Since it began the group has been traveling throughout the state and putting money into the hands of small business owners across Arkansas.

Some businesses that received help from the organization include a small coffee shop in Springdale, a diner in Prairie Grove and Showdown MMA in Fort Smith, which received $5,000 Monday.

"A business like Showdown MMA, they're gonna use these funds for rent, utilities, employee wages, things that are direct operational expenses that keep them in the game, in the fight for a couple more months," Bequette said.

"It's really the thought that counts and the fact that Arkansas is here for their own and there's a fund set up for these small businesses like this, and I'm just absolutely over the moon about it," said Showdown MMA Coach/Owner, Chance Farley.

Anyone can nominate a business to receive funding or donate to one on the Arkansas Funds website

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