COVID-19 Business Resources

This page contains regular updates regarding COVID-19 policies and programs that affect businesses, as well as links to additional information.  Links to the most-used pages are below. Additional links can be found in the menu at left (or scroll to the bottom if you are using a hand-held device). 

Click here for the latest business-related COVID-19 updates from the City of Fayetteville

May 22, 2020 Update

Arkansas Department of Health posts directive for Bar and Club Operations

The Arkansas Department of Health has posted the directive for Bar and Club Operations, which can reopen under the guidance on May 26, 2020. 

Fayetteville City Council to consider an ordinance establishing an Outdoor Refreshment Area in downtown Fayetteville

The City has collaborated with businesses and stakeholders for a while now to create a public consumption ordinance that fits our community. The proposed ordinance can help bars and restaurants make more sales safely during the pandemic. We would love to hear your ideas Check out the two links.

Detailed info about the proposed ordinance and "Outdoor Refreshment Areas" here: http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/3829 

Visit our Speak Up Fayetteville page to voice your opinion and ask questions: https://speakup.fayetteville-ar.gov/outdoor-refreshment-area-ora 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments to begin

Today, during his COVID-19 press conference, Governor Hutchinson stated that payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program would begin today and this weekend. 


May 20, 2020 Update

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Website reopens 

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website is back online. The State announced that direct deposit payment would begin on Friday. Applicants should begin receiving "interim approval" notifications from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.  


May 18, 2020 Update

Governor announces reopening date for bars 

Today, during his COVID-19 press conference, Governor Hutchinson announced that restaurants will be able to reopen their bars tomorrow. Standalone bars such as private clubs will be able to reopen on May 26th. Directives from the Arkansas Department of Health over reopening requirements are forthcoming and will be posted here


SBA releases forgiveness guidance for Paycheck Protection Program loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration has released guidance and new loan forgiveness forms for the Paycheck Protection Program. You can view the loan forgiveness form here.


May 16, 2020 Update

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Website down due to Security Breach 

Today, Governor Hutchinson announced a security breach involving the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website. The website is currently offline. Applicants whose data was compromised will be notified and a credit monitoring program will be available to assist them.  You can watch Governor Hutchinson’s press conference here.


May 14, 2020 Update

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

On May 13, 2020 many Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applicants who filed during the testing phase from May 1-May 5 received a notification that they needed to resubmit their supporting documentation due to an error with the website. Residents who applied during those dates are encouraged to check and see if they need to resubmit their supporting documentation. Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston also announced that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Payments could begin as soon as May 18.  

Residents can apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services here.


May 12, 2020 Update

Governor Hutchinson to provide an announcement pertaining to bars on May 18, 2020 

Today, Governor Hutchinson stated he would be making an announcement pertaining to bars on May 18th. The announcement is expected to discuss when and under what guidelines, bars would be allowed to reopen. The announcement will be able to be watched on the Governor’s YouTube channel.


May 11, 2020 Update

Limited restaurant dine-in operations may resume today

The Arkansas Department of Health’s directive on resuming restaurant dine-in operations begins today. Click here to review the directive for phase 1 dine-in service.


May 8, 2020 Update 

Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force launches new website 

The Arkansas Recovery Task Force has launched a new website which houses industry specific information on reopening and state directives. You can visit this website at www.arkansasready.com


SBA Paycheck Protection Program still accepting applications, other financial resources are still available 

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on May 7, 2020 that the Paycheck Protection Program still had $120B in funds remaining. The SBA also updated their FAQ for the Paycheck Protection Program, you can view the updated guidance here. Businesses can find participating lenders by utilizing the lender location tool

Other financial resources are still available, such as the Small Business Debt Relief Program. Businesses are encouraged to contact their local financial institution or one of the many local resource partners to explore what options are available to them. 


May 5, 2020 Update

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is now open for applications 

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services has launched the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website and applications can now be submitted. Applications can be submitted seven days a week online from 6:00 AM-6:00PM. Applicants can also apply by phone between the hours of 6:00AM-4:00PM by calling 1.844.908.2178.

What is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?

This new program stems from the CARES Act and provides unemployment payments to individuals who are not able to work due to COVID-19, who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance

Who can apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?

You can review your eligibility by using the online screening tool here.

  • Self-employed workers;
  • Independent contractors;
  • Non-profit employees;
  • Gig economy workers;
  • Individuals who work for employers exempt from participating in the regular UI program;
  • Part-Time workers without enough work history to qualify for regular UI benefits;
  • Individuals impacted by COVID-19 but not eligible for regular UI benefits due to a prior disqualification 

"Individuals are eligible for PUA if they do not qualify for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits (including self-employed workers and independent contractors) and cannot work because they:

  • Are diagnosed with COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking diagnosis
  • Have a member of the household who is diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Are providing care for a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Are the primary caregiver for a child whose school or care facility closed, due to COVID-19
  • Are unable to reach their place of employment due to an imposed quarantine, or because advised by medical provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
  • Became the major breadwinner because the head of household died from COVID-19
  • Quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19
  • Had their place of employment closed as a direct result of COVID-19 or
  • Were scheduled to start new employment and cannot reach the workplace as direct result of COVID-19
  • Are a Gig worker who had wages before and during the pandemic that were diminished as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency" (pua.arkansas.gov/pre-screening.overview

How long can benefits last and will qualifying applicants receive back payment to date they became unemployed due to COVID-19?

The program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits with ranging weekly payments based on income from the previous tax year (2019). Yes, for those who qualify the program will apply retroactively to the date they became unemployed due to COVID-19.

Are individuals who are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance also eligible for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation?

Yes, individuals receiving PUA will also be eligible for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) for $600 per week for the week ending April 4th through the week ending July 25th.

What proof do you need to apply?

In order to qualify above the minimum benefit level, individuals will need to provide proof of earnings from the last tax year.  Tax return for 2019 is needed to establish the higher weekly benefit amount than the minimum. If you have not yet filed your tax return, you can provide supplemental information to increase the amount once taxes are filed. 

How do you apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?

  • Online at pua.arkansas.gov between 6:00AM and 6:00PM daily
  • By Phone at 844.908.2178 between 6:00AM and 4:00PM daily 


Small business resource webinars this week:

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, Startup Junkie Consulting and other partners are hosting multiple webinars for small businesses on a daily basis:

May 4, 2020: 2:00PM-3:00PM SBA Small Business Disaster Assistance Funding and Updates

May 5, 2020 12:00PM-1:00PM Startup Junkie: Enabling a secure and effective remote workforce

May 5, 2020: 6:00PM-7:30PM ADH Opening and Maintaining Barbershops and Hair Salons during COVID-19

May 6, 2020 12:00PM-1:00PM Startup Junkie:Website Must-haves to drive sales and customers 

May 6, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Business Continuity for Pandemic Recovery

May, 5, 2020 12:00PM-1:00PM University of Arkansas and Startup Junkie: Designing accessible and inclusive webinars

May 7, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Creating Trust in your Brand During COVID-19

May 8, 2020: 2:00PM-3:00PM SBA Small Business Disaster Assistance Funding and Updates


May 4, 2020 Update 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to begin accepting applications on Tuesday, May 5th at 6:00 AM

In a press release this evening, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announced they will open the application process for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance on May 5th, at 6:00 AM. 

What is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?

This new program stems from the CARES Act and provides unemployment payments to individuals who are not able to work due to COVID-19, who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance. Examples of individuals who would now qualify for unemployment benefits include self-employed individuals, gig-economy workers and independent contractors.

What should you begin gathering to prepare to apply? Documents to provide proof you are self-employed and how your business was impacted by COVID-19 (additional guidance will be posted in the morning) Examples include:

  • Proof of Earnings from the last tax year or other financial documents;
  • 1099 forms
  • Business license 
  • Utility bills
  • Recent advertisements for your business
  • Contracts, invoices and or building leases

How do I apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance tomorrow?

Visit ARUnemployment.com for the latest information on how to apply. 

Resources

ARUnemployment.com 

ADWS Press Release announcing opening of the program


AEDC "Ready for Business Grant Program" to begin accepting applications tomorrow at 8:00 AM

The Arkansas Ready for Business grant program will re-open at 8:00 am on Tuesday, May 5th. Applications will be accepted 8:00 am - 6:00 pm on Tuesday, May 5th and Wednesday, May 6th. 

The program was also updated with the following parameters:

  • >15% for women and minority-owned businesses
  • >75% for businesses with 50 or fewer employees

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible businesses include corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships (including independent contractors), LLCs, Joint Ventures and Non-profits (Government-owned entities not eligible). All industry sectors are eligible. 

What do you need to have ready to apply?

  • Drivers License of authorized business representative;
  • Completed and signed W9;
  • Certificate of Good Standing from Secretary of State
    • If not an incorporated, a business/professional license, sales tax permit, utility bill or bank statement in the name of business is required.

How do you get a Certificate of Good Standing from Secretary of State?

Certificate’s of Good Standing can be obtained on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.

Where do you go to apply for the program?

Tomorrow at 8:00 am a link to the application will be posted on this page: AEDC Ready for Business Grant Program Page

I successfully submitted an application last week before it was closed, do I need to reapply?

If you successfully submitted an application on April 29th in the 51 minutes before it closed, you do not need to reapply

Other Information:

AEDC Ready for Business Program Page Updated from May 4, 2020

AEDC Ready for Business Program Update from May 4, 2020


Arkansas Department of Health to host webinar for hair salons and barber shops on opening during the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Tomorrow (May 5) at 6:00 PM the Arkansas Department of Health will host a webinar for hair salon’s and barbershops on re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is required to attend. Click here to register for the webinar.  


May 3, 2020 Update

State of Arkansas "Ready for Business Grant Program" to reopen early this week

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s "Ready for Business" grant program that launched last Thursday will likely be reopened on Tuesday May 5, 2020. We will update this page with the specific time applications will begin to be accepted when it is announced. Businesses who wish to apply for the program are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as the portal is reopened. 

Businesses can prepare to apply by gathering a Photo ID, voided check, banking information, and a certificate of good standing from the Secretary of State. Certificates of Good Standing can be found on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.

AEDC Ready for Business Grant Program


May 2, 2020 Update

Claim filing system for self-employed workers and independent contractors (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) expected to open early this week

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services provided on update on the status of the new claim filing system for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The new system is expected to be open early this week. You can sign up for email alerts to be notified about the opening of the system by utilizing this tool.

ADWS Pandemic Unemployment Update


May 1, 2020 Update 

Barber, hair salons, cosmetology, body art, massage, and medical spa services will reopen on May 6, 2020

Governor Hutchinson announced today that barber, cosmetology, body art, massage, and medical spa services will reopen on May 6. This does not apply to cosmetology schools, which will be under consideration at a later date. Restrictions apply, including social distancing of at least six feet between patrons and a maximum of ten people in a facility at a time. Walk-in service will be prohibited, all services must be by appointment, and customers should wait outside or in their cars prior to their appointment time. Each station will be thoroughly cleaned between appointments, service providers must wash hands between each appointment, and staff should wear masks and gloves. Customers should also wear face coverings as services permit.  Staff will conduct health screenings on customers before they enter the facility, and customers who have any symptoms, even those attributable to allergies, should postpone their appointment.  

A new Department of Health directive with details on this re-opening and applicable restrictions will be posted here:  https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus


April 30, 2020 Update

Gyms, fitness centers, and athletic facilities  reopen on May 4, 2020

Governor Hutchinson announced today that gyms, fitness centers and indoor athletic facilities will re-open on May 4. Restrictions will apply to these facilities, including patrons and staff observing 12-foot social distancing while working out and training. Pools, showers, saunas and spas will not be included in the May 4 re-opening. Staff and patrons are required to wear face coverings and refrain from personal contact. Equipment is required to be sanitized after each use. Patrons are not allowed to enter these facilities if they have recently traveled to or from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans or overseas locations.

A new Department of Health directive with details on this re-opening and applicable restrictions will be posted here:  https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus


Governor Hutchinson announces limited restaurant dine-in operations can resume on May 11, 2020

Governor Hutchinson announced today that restaurant dine-in operations can resume beginning May 11, with capacity limitations and other restrictions as part of a Phase 1 re-opening plan specific to restaurants. Read the Governor’s press release here: https://governor.arkansas.gov/news-media/press-releases/limited-dine-in-restaurant-service-may-resume-may-11-governor-announces

For both indoor and outdoor on-site dining, restaurants will observe a 33 percent (or one-third) occupancy rate with groups of no more than 10 people and ongoing requirements for social distancing, face coverings, staff screenings, cleaning/disinfecting and more.

A Department of Health directive with more detail on restrictions and guidelines is available here.

The State’s timelines for Phases 2 and 3 of resuming restaurant operations will be based on COVID-19 data. Phase 1 restaurant regulations will be enforced by the Arkansas Department of Health. 


April 29, 2020

SBA and U.S. Treasury announce Paycheck Protection Program loan application pause from large lenders from 3:00 pm-11:00 pm today

To ensure access to the Paycheck Protection Program for smaller lenders and their customers, starting at 3:00 pm today the SBA will only accept applications from lending institutions with assets less than a billion. Larger lending institutions will be able to continue submitting applications at 11:00 pm CST. 

Click here to learn more about the SBA Paycheck Protection Program


Arkansas Economic Development Commission announces "Ready for Business Grant Program" (program closed)

Update: This program was closed in less than an hour after the State received over $15M in grant requests. City staff is monitoring the program should additional funds become available.  

Governor Hutchinson announced a new grant program to help small businesses with the cost challenges of re-opening safely called "Ready for Business" which totals $15M. All industry sectors are eligible to apply for the program with the maximum grant amount being $100,000 per business. 

Businesses interested in participating in the program are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will begin to be accepted at 5:00pm today. 

Detailed Ready for Business Grant Program Information

Ready for Business Grant Program Homepage


Unemployed or Dislocated residents may qualify for free training

A new partnership was announced between the University of Arkansas Professional and Workforce Development (a division of the Global Campus), the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, and the Northwest Arkansas Council. Unemployed or Dislocated residents (lost employment) can apply for workforce training at no cost. 75 different online training programs have been approved for Dislocated Worker funding from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.  Residents may qualify if: 

  • "They are displaced workers who are unemployed or underemployed because of a business closure, have been permanently laid off, have relocated due to orders from the Armed Forces, or a natural or man-made disaster.
  • They are currently collecting unemployment, receiving government assistance, or otherwise assessed to be in a low-income group.
  • They had been dependent on the income of another family member but are no longer being supported by that income."

To learn more about the Dislocated Worker Training Program including who qualifies, how to apply, and what courses you can take, please visit the programs homepage.

University of Arkansas Press Release

Apply for the Dislocated Worker Training Programs here

University of Arkansas: Determined to help


April 28, 2020

Governor Hutchinson to make an announcement tomorrow at 1:30pm pertaining to when restaurants may be able to open sit down dinning

Governor Hutchinson will make an announcement tomorrow during his daily press conference pertaining to information on when restaurants can reopen for sit down dinning. You can watch the announcement live on the Governor’s YouTube Channel at 1:30PM tomorrow.  

Schedule of upcoming announcements from Governor Hutchinson pertaining to various industries: 

April 29 – Announcement on restaurant decision

April 30 – Announcement  Announcement on gyms decision

May 1 – Beauty and barber salon decision

May 4 – Places of worship and larger venues


April 27, 2020

SBA Paycheck Protection Program to resume accepting applications from lenders

The SBA announced they will begin accepting Paycheck Protection Program loan applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 9:30am CST

The SBA also updated their Paycheck Protection Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on April 26, 2020.

University of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center to host webinar focused on PPP Uses and Forgiveness

April 30, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Paycheck Protection Program- Uses and Forgiveness

CDC offers water safety information for re-opening businesses and buildings

If you are re-opening your business or building after being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC recommends you take these 8 steps to ensure water system safety before you reopen your business or building. Standing water in a closed-down water system can cause conditions that increase the risk for growth and spread of bacteria. Stagnant water can also lead to low or undetectable levels of disinfectant, such as chlorine. Click here to learn more and see the CDC’s recommendations.

April 24, 2020

URGENT: SBA Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans have received a second round of funding

The key facet of the CARES Act, the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has received a second round of Federal funding. On April 24, 2020 H.R. 266 became law. Small businesses who are interested in participating in the program and have not begun to coordinate with their local financial institution should do so immediately. To find a participating local lender you can utilize the SBA’s Lender Search Tool.

The City of Fayetteville’s Department of Economic Vitality anticipates the next round of Paycheck Protection Program funding to be depleted in a matter of days.

How to apply for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Small businesses and entrepreneurs interested in applying for a loan through the SBA Paycheck Protection Program can do so by contacting their local financial institution. To locate a participating lender you can utilize the SBA’s new online tool.

Additional lending options such as non-disaster SBA loans, which may be subject to benefits under the CARES Act Small Business Debt Relief Program are also available. For additional lending options from the SBA, click here.

Are there resource providers available to help me apply for the Paycheck Protection Program Loans from the SBA?

Yes. Numerous resource providers are available to assist you:


Unemployment website and hotline changes

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS) shared two important updates today for unemployment claims filing, processing and questions:

  • The state’s online claims filing website will be temporarily offline on Saturday, April 25 from 6 a.m. to noon. The site is being moved to a larger mainframe, which will help with faster and more reliable online claims processing.

  • The DWS hotline for processing unemployment claims over the phone will be available seven days a week beginning this Sunday, April 26. That line is 1-844-908-2178, and it’s open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For additional unemployment information from DWS: https://www.arunemployment.com/ 


April 23, 2020 Update

Small Business Administration issues new guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program as Congress approves $321B in additional funding

In wake of Congress passing the next round of economic stimulus, the SBA has issued additional guidance pertaining to the PPP. The guidance addresses the issue which has risen with companies who have adequate sources of liquidity utilizing the program. A key excerpt from the guidance has been included below:

"Question: Do businesses owned by large companies with adequate sources of liquidity to support the business’s ongoing operations qualify for a PPP loan?

Answer: In addition to reviewing applicable affiliation rules to determine eligibility, all borrowers must assess their economic need for a PPP loan under the standard established by the CARES Act and the PPP regulations at the time of the loan application. Although the CARES Act suspends the ordinary requirement that borrowers must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere (as defined in section 3(h) of the Small Business Act), borrowers still must certify in good faith that their PPP loan request is necessary. Specifically, before submitting a PPP application, all borrowers should review carefully the required certification that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” Borrowers must make this certification in good faith, taking into account their current business activity and their ability to access other sources of liquidity sufficient to support their ongoing operations in a manner that is not significantly detrimental to the business. For example, it is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith, and such a company should be prepared to demonstrate to SBA, upon request, the basis for its certification."

SBA latest guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program


As the United States House of Representatives prepares to vote on the next economic stimulus package, small businesses are strongly encouraged to begin coordination with their local financial institution if they wish the pursue an SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan

Small businesses who haven’t yet been able to participate in this program are strongly encouraged to work with their local financial institution or resource providers and take advantage of the program as soon as it receives additional funding. The City of Fayetteville’s Department of Economic Vitality anticipates the next round of Paycheck Protection Program funding to be depleted in a matter of days

The City has developed a list of local resource providers who are here to help you with your application. Visit our dedicated page for SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.

You can find financial institutions who are participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by utilizing the SBA’s Eligible Lender Search Tool.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Resources


Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announces they will begin application intake for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance sometime next week

During a Statewide COVID-19 town hall last night, Division of Workforce Services Director Dr. Charisse Childers stated that application intake for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (a program created through the CARES Act which enables residents who traditionally can not access unemployment benefits such as self-employed persons, independent contractor, and gig-economy workers to receive unemployment benefits). 

Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston noted that qualifying applicants will also receive retroactive compensation to the time when their employment became impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preston also noted it will be important for applicants to provide documentation of when their employment was impacted when applying.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Notification Sign Up

ARUnemployment.com


April 22, 2020 Update

United States Senate passes $484 billion Economic Stimulus package, House of Representatives expected to vote soon. Small Businesses are strongly encouraged to begin coordination with their local financial institutions as soon as possible

On April 21, 2020 the United States Senate passed a $484 billion Economic Stimulus package, which many are referring to COVID 3. The bill provides an additional $310 billion in funding to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. The Senate bill also proposes that $60 billion in SBA Paycheck Protection Program funding will be set aside for smaller lending facilities such as Community Development Financial Institutions and small insured depository institutions so that minority owned businesses, small businesses, and businesses without banking relationships have a better chance at utilizing the program. 

The City of Fayetteville’s Department of Economic Vitality anticipates the next round of Paycheck Protection Program funding to be depleted in a matter of days. The City has developed a list of local resource providers who are here to help you with your application. Visit our dedicated page for SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.

You can find financial institutions who are participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by utilizing the SBA’s Eligible Lender Search Tool.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Resources


Startup Junkie Consulting Launches Digital Library of Assistance and Support videos for Small Businesses

In response to the cancellation of all in-person events and in person educational programs due to COVID-19, Startup Junkie Consulting is launching a digital library of instructional videos for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The videos are available of their Youtube Channel and cover a wide range of topics such as Small Business Loan Funding, early-stage investing, and customer discovery.

Startup Junkie Press Release

Startup Junkie Youtube Channel


Governor’s Timeline for Decisions on re-opening Certain Businesses

Governor Hutchinson has announced a target date of May 4, 2020 as a starting point for lifting some business restrictions throughout the state. This date is reliant upon continued statewide progress toward reducing COVID-19 community spread. Today, the Governor shared additional dates indicating when he will announce further decisions on when restrictions might be lifted on specific business types:

April 29 – Announcement on restaurant decision

April 30 – Announcement  Announcement on gyms decision

May 1 – Beauty and barber salon decision

May 4 – Places of worship and larger venues

Additionally, restrictions on elective medical procedures will be lifted effective April 27, 2020. By tomorrow, the Arkansas Department of Health expects to publish more details and requirements about lifting restrictions on elective procedures. 

The Governor shares daily reminders that it is important for all Arkansans to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. The ability to achieve his May 4 target date depends on everyone continuing to follow guidelines for social distancing, face coverings in public, hand-washing and more. For more information and to watch the Governor’s daily press briefings, go here.


April 21, 2020 Update

Small Businesses are strongly encouraged to begin preparing for the possibility of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program to be reopened this week

The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program will likely receive additional appropriations very soon. Small businesses who haven’t yet been able to participate in this program are strongly encouraged to work with their local financial institution or resource providers and take advantage of the program as soon as it receives additional funding. You can find financial institutions who are participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by utilizing the SBA’s Eligible Lender Search Tool

The City of Fayetteville’s Department of Economic Vitality anticipates the next round of Paycheck Protection Program funding to be depleted in a matter of days. The City has developed a list of local resource providers who are here to help you with your application. Visit our dedicated page for SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Guidance on how to prepare from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

Today, the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services announced that the claim filing system for self-employed workers, independent contractors and others who have lost self or contract employment due to COVID-19 is being developed and will be available soon. They also announced there are two things you can do now to be prepared to apply:

  • File your 2019 Federal tax return so you can verify your income. Payments can still be paid by the deadline, but it will be helpful to go ahead and file.  
  • Gather documents to provide proof you are self-employed and how your business was impacted by COVID-19. Examples include:
    • 1099 forms
    • Business License 
    • City Permits
    • Utility Bills
    • Recent advertisements for your business
    • Contracts, invoices and or building leases.

Click here to view the April 21, 2020 Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Announcement on preparing to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

What is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance? This new program stems from the CARES Act and provides unemployment payments to individuals who are not able to work due to COVID-19, who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance. Examples of individuals who would now qualify for unemployment benefits include self-employed individuals, gig-economy workers and independent contractors.

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Press Release over status of Federal Legislation pertaining to Unemployment Benefits

State of Arkansas Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Information Signup


Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) issues "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19"

The Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services has issued new guidance on how employers can begin preparing their workplaces for operation during COVID-19. Click here to read OSHA’s latest publication.


Startup Junkie Foundation Expands No-Fee, No-Interest Loan Program (KIVA) for Small Businesses Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Startup Junkie Foundation will expand it’s KIVA offerings in Northwest Arkansas to help small business owners access capital during the COVID-19 crisis. The new program now has an additional $450,000 in matching no-fee, no-interest loan funds for new and approved small business borrowers in Washington and Benton County. The programs expansion is supported through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation. 

Startup Junkie Foundation Press Release

Kiva Northwest Arkansas Website


April 20, 2020 Update

Small Businesses are strongly encouraged to begin preparing for the possibility of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program to be reopened this week

The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program will likely receive additional appropriations very soon. Small businesses who haven’t yet been able to participate in this program are strongly encouraged to work with their local financial institution or resource providers and take advantage of the program as soon as it receives additional funding.. You can find financial institutions who are participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by utilizing the SBA’s Eligible Lender Search Tool

The City of Fayetteville’s Department of Economic Vitality anticipates the next round of Paycheck Protection Program funding to be depleted in a matter of days. The City has developed a list of local resource providers who are here to help you with your application. Visit our dedicated page for SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Resources

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Homepage

Find Eligible Lenders

Startup Junkie Consulting CARES Act: Understanding the Paycheck Protection Program

Interim Final Rule for the Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form


Resource Webinars this week

April 20, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM SBA Small Business Disaster Assistance Funding and Updates

April 21, 2020 2:00-3:00PM ASBTDC My PPP has been approved. Now What?

April 23, 2020 10:00AM-11:00AM ASBTDC Strategic Partnerships: Non-profits, for-profits, and recovering from COVID-19

April 24, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM SBA Small Business Disaster Assistance Funding and Updates


April 18, 2020 Update

Governor Hutchinson Announces New Economic Recovery Task Force 

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a new Economic Recovery Task Force which was created through his most recent Executive Order 20-20. The Task Force is being chaired by Steuart Walton and is comprised of 27 members which represent a wide range of industry sectors. The purpose of the Task Force per the Governor’s press release:

"The task force will recommend a strategy to the Governor for our economy to shift out of low gear consistent with public-health guidance."

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Economic Recovery Task Force Announcement

Executive Order 20-20


April 16, 2020 Update

State of Arkansas Launches New Unemployment Website and updates hours when residents can apply

The State of Arkansas has launched a new website for unemployment information: ARUnemployment.com

New hours when residents can apply for unemployment have also been announced:

Apply Online: Sunday- Saturday 6:00AM-6:00PM

Apply by Phone at 1.844.908.2178: Sunday-Saturday 6:00AM-6:00PM

Sign up for email notifications about the upcoming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

State of Arkansas’s New Unemployment Website


SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program unable to accept new applications 

The Small Business Administration is unable to process any new applications for Economic Injury Disaster loans or Paycheck Protection Program Loans at this point in time due to a lapse in appropriations

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Announcement

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Announcement


April 15, 2020 Update

IRS Economic Impact Payments

The IRS has developed two online portals for residents to track the status of their Economic Impact Payment from the CARES Act. Both Filers and Non-Filers can find out the status of their payments by clicking here.

James Beard Foundation hosting hospitality industry support webinars

The James Beard Foundation is hosting numerous webinars each week that provide focused guidance for small business owners and employees in the hospitality industry. To view the list of upcoming webinars, as well as recordings of all past webinars, visit their website by clicking here.

U.S. Treasury updates information on SBA Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Treasury has provided additional information about the SBA Paycheck Protection Program including issuing an interim Final Rule. Click here to visit the U.S. Treasury’s PPP page to learn more.

Governor Hutchinson Announces CMS Approval of Additional Pay for Eligible LTSS Direct Care Workers Due to COVID-19 Emergency

Governor Hutchinson announced today that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a request from the State of Arkansas to use Medicaid funds for additional pay to certain types of direct-care health workers. 

For more information and to see a list of eligible workers: Click Here

Reminder: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Information Signup 

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is currently in the process of building a new system to accept Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications. To receive information from the State on the status of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, click here to sign up for notifications


April 14, 2020 Update

Resource Webinars being held this week

April 14, 2020 10:00AM-11:00AM ASBTDC Applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 14, 2020 10:00AM-11:00AM ASBTDC Cash in a Crisis: SBA Programs and Other Funding Options

April 16, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Applying for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 16, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Cash in a Crisis: SBA Programs and Other Funding Options

April 17, 2020 1:30PM-2:30PM Startup Junkie Consulting: OVERCOME- A Series on Leadership in Crisis

April 17, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM SBA Small Business Disaster Assistance Funding and Updates


April 13, 2020 Update

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Information Signup 

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is currently in the process of building a new system to accept Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications. To receive information from the State on the status of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, click here to sign up for notifications

What is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance? This new program stems from the CARES Act and provides unemployment payments to individuals who are not able to work due to COVID-19, who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance. Examples of individuals who would now qualify for unemployment benefits include self-employed individuals, gig-economy workers and independent contractors.

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Press Release over status of Federal Legislation pertaining to Unemployment Benefits

State of Arkansas Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Information Signup


April 10, 2020 Update

Guidance for businesses on handling employee illness

Northwest Arkansas area health care providers have shared guidance for businesses on how to handle employee illness and exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic. View guidance in English and Spanish.

IRS launches new tool to assist with non-filers receiving their Economic Impact Payment from the CARES Act

The IRS has launched a new tool to assist non-filers receive their Economic Impact Payment from the CARES Act. This tool was created because the IRS does not have direct deposit information for residents who do not file taxes annually. Click here to view their new tool and submit payment information.

From the IRS website:

"Who should use Non-Filers tool? Eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents who:

  • Had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019;
  • Were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, and didn’t plan to.

What information will you need?

  • Full name, current mailing address and an email address
  • Date of birth and valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
  • For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse"

IRS Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here

April 9, 2020 Update

Webinar: Small Business & Non-Profit Emergency Assistance Program- Arts and Culture organizations

On April 9, 2020 at 3:00PM the University of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center will host a webinar for Arts and Culture organizations. Click here to register for the webinar.

Webinar: Small Business & Non-Profit Emergency Assistance Program- Creative Entrepreneurs and Artists 

On April 10, 2020 at 2:00PM the University of Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center will host a webinar for Creative Entrepreneurs and Artists. Click here to register for the webinar.

Small Business Administration Arkansas District Office hosting weekly webinars

Staff from the Small Business Administration’s Arkansas District Office will share up to date information on the different Disaster Loan Programs, the application process and updates daily. SCORE representative will share additional resources they are able to provide to assist small businesses in preparing applications and general business assistance. These webinars will be held each Friday and Monday at 2:00PM beginning tomorrow, April 10th and be held through May 18th. Click here to register for the webinar series.

Center For Disease Control issues new guidance for workers who may have had exposures to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

The CDC has published interim guidance which pertains to critical infrastructure workers. Click here to view the latest guidance


April 8, 2020 Update

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Update (CARES Act)

As part of the CARES Act, the Federal Government will provide a temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) through July 31, 2020 of $600 per week for any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation benefits. This FPUC payment will be paid in addition to regular state or federal unemployment compensation. This program includes tipped workers.

Today during Governor Hutchinson’s Press Conference, Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston announced that the first round of checks for the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program began being distributed yesterday. Dislocated workers who have been approved for unemployment compensation do not need to take any additional actions to receive the additional $600 per work allocated within the CARES Act. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program Update (CARES Act)

This new program stems from the CARES Act and provides unemployment payments to individuals who are not able to work due to COVID-19, who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance. Examples of individuals who would now qualify for unemployment benefits include self-employed individuals, gig-economy workers and independent contractors.

Today during Governor Hutchinson’s Press Conference, Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston announced that it will be at least three additional weeks before this program is open for application. This delay stems from an entire new system needing to be built to process this program. The State also announced that impacted individuals who qualify for unemployment compensation through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program will receive back payment to the date you were impacted by COVID-19.

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s April 8, 2020 Press Conference

Apply for Unemployment Compensation

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services has a hotline available for filing unemployment and other services. It is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m Monday-Friday. Call 1-844-908-2178. You can also file claims online at https://www.ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov/. The Fayetteville Workforce Center is open but they are requesting that individuals apply online or by phone. 

AEDC Quick Action Bridge Loan Program Expanded

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced an additional one million in funding was added to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s bridge loan program. The program is designed to provide short-term capital to companies until Federal dollars from the U.S. Small Business Administration become available. To learn more about this program and apply please visit our dedicated AEDC Quick Action Loan Program page.


April 7, 2020 Update

Governor’s Executive Order EO-20-13 Requires all Businesses to Post Signage at their entrances

A component of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Executive Order 20-13 requires all businesses who are open to post signage at the entrance of their facility.

 The Executive Order, specifically section EO-20-13 (3) f states: "All businesses, manufacturers, construction companies, and places of worship shall implement the following social distance protocols: ....Post a sign at the entrance of the facility informing all employees, customers, and congregants that they should: avoid entering the facility if they have a cough or fever; maintain a minimum six-foot distance from one another; sneeze and cough into one’s elbow; not shake hands or engage in any unnecessary physical contact;".

To view Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Executive Order 20-13 please click here


April 6, 2020 Update

U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program is Open

The SBA Paycheck Protection Program is open for application. Small businesses who are interested in participating in the Paycheck Protection Program are encouraged to contact their local lender as soon as possible.

You can apply now with SBA approved banks and other lenders. Small Businesses are encouraged to contact their local financial institution for more information on how to apply. 

The SBA has also created an online tool to find eligible lenders. This lender search tool was updated significantly over the weekend.

The SBA Website for the Paycheck Protection Program provides detailed information on loan information, who can apply, loan details and forgiveness, and much more. 

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Resources

Startup Junkie Consulting CARES Act: Understanding the Paycheck Protection Program

Interim Final Rule for the Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form

Additional lending options such as non-disaster SBA loans, which may be subject to benefits under the CARES Act Small Business Debt Relief Program are also available. For additional lending options from the SBA, click here.


Resource Webinars for the week of April 6

April 7, 2020 10:00AM-11:00AM ASBTDC Applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 7, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Applying for the Quick Action Loan Program

April 8, 2020 10:00AM-11:00AM ASBTDC Budgeting during an Economic Downturn

April 9, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 9, 2020 10:00AM-11:00AM ASBTDC Connecting to Capital

April 9, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Cash in a Crisis: SBA Programs and Other Funding Options

April 10, 2020: 1:30PM-2:30PM Startup Junkie Consulting ADAPT- A Series on Leadership in Crisis 

April 5, 2020 Update

Yesterday Governor Hutchinson issued an amended Executive Order (EO-20-13) in an effort to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 community spread by leisure travelers to Arkansas.

Effective April 6, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., commercial lodgings and short-term rentals may offer occupancy only to certain types of authorized guests:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • First responders
  • Law enforcement
  • State or Federal employees on official business
  • National Guard Members on active duty
  • Airline crew members
  • Patients of hospitals and their families
  • Journalists
  • Persons unable to return to their homes because of COVID-19 travel restrictions
  • Arkansas citizens unable to return to their homes due to exigent circumstances, such as fire, flood, tornado or other disaster
  • Persons in need of shelter because of domestic violence or homelessness
  • Employees of hotels, motels or other service providers/contractors of a hotel or motel
  • Persons away from their home because of work or work-related travel

You can view this and other Executive Orders from Governor Hutchinson here.

You can visit the City of Fayetteville’s COVID-19 Resource Page here.

April 3, 2020 Update

U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program

The SBA Paycheck Protection Program is open for application. You can apply now with SBA approved banks and other lenders. Small Businesses are encouraged to contact their local financial institution for more information on how to apply. The SBA has also created an online tool to find eligible lenders

The SBA Website for the Paycheck Protection Program provides detailed information on loan information, who can apply, loan details and forgiveness, and much more. 

Startup Junkie Consulting CARES Act: Understanding the Paycheck Protection Program

Interim Final Rule for the Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form

Additional lending options such as non-disaster SBA loans, which may be subject to benefits under the CARES Act Small Business Debt Relief Program are also available. For additional lending options from the SBA, click here.


U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issues new guidelines regarding Unemployment Insurance

The Department of Labor issued new guidance to States on how to manage new unemployment benefits in the CARES Act

DOL News Release:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ANNOUNCES NEW CARES ACT GUIDANCE ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FOR STATES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 CRISIS

Unemployment Insurance Program Letter No. 14-20

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services issues new Press Release  concerning Federal Legislation 

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Service published an additional press release on April 3, 2020 "CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Information- FEDERAL LEGISLATION". The press release explains that the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is waiting for additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor before than can begin implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. 


April 2, 2020 Update

U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program

Today the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that lenders may begin processing Paycheck Protection Loan applications as early as April 3, 2020. The SBA recently updated their website with information on where to apply, who is eligible, and further loan details. Please click here to visit the SBA’s updated Paycheck Protection Program page.

Startup Junkie Consulting has also developed an updated guide for the SBA Paycheck protection program you can view here (updated 4/3/2020).

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Application from U.S. Treasury   (Updated 4/3/2020)

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Overview from the U.S. Treasury

SBA Paycheck Protection Information Packet for Borrowers from the U.S. Treasury

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Information for Lenders from the U.S. Treasury 

City of Fayetteville Paycheck Protection Program Information Page

Information about the SBA paycheck protection program is very fluid and will be updated through the coming days. City staff is working to provide you with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available. Please continue to check back regularly. 

Webinars being hosted today:

April 2, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 2, 2020 3:00PM-4:00PM EY CARES Act: What entrepreneurs need to know


April 1, 2020 Update: 

During Governor Hutchinson’s Press Conference on April 1, 2020 Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston announced they are waiting for additional guidance from the Department of Labor on how to process Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications. Individuals who are trying to access the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program of the CARES Act were advised not to apply at this time. The Department of Commerce stated they will issue a press release when the program is open.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

The CARES Act also creates a new program called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program through December 31, 2020. This new program provides unemployment payments to individuals who are not able to work due to COVID-19, who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance. Examples of individuals who would now qualify for unemployment benefits include self-employed individuals, gig-economy workers and independent contractors. Applying for this program will be the same as applying for unemployment through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (information below). 

Both the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs were discussed during Governor Asa Hutchinson’s press conference on March 28, 2020. To watch the press conference click here.


March 31, 2020 Update:

AEDC Quick Action Loan Program

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) newly announced Quick Action Loan Program is accepting applications. Businesses interested in applying for these loans may want to do so soon. AEDC has indicated the application period could be closed as early as early next week. To learn more about this program and apply please visit our dedicated page by clicking here.

Startup Junkie Consulting: Understanding the AEDC Quick Action Loan Program

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Update

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the Paycheck Protection Program will likely be up and running by Friday April 3, 2020. Businesses will be able to go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union to apply for a loan and may be approved on the same day. Interested businesses may want to begin preparing to apply. For assistance with preparing to apply or further guidance, businesses can contact one of the many available resource partners.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Website

Click here to view SBA’s update to Arkansas from March 31, 2020

University of Arkansas Small Business Technology & Development Center and Northwest Arkansas Council Partnership Announced

ASBTDC and the Northwest Arkansas Council are partnering on Small Business Emergency Assistance. "The Small Business Emergency Assistance program will provide services free-of-charge to assist organizations with access to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and other federal, state and local programs by:

  • Assistance with loan applications.
  • Financial reviews.
  • One-on-one counseling.
  • Market research.
  • Educational outreach.
  • Business planning.
  • Liaison to government agencies and lending institutions.

The Walton Family Foundation provided a grant to the Northwest Arkansas Council at the recommendation of Steuart Walton and Tom Walton to support the Small Business Emergency Assistance program."- press release

View the NWA Council Press Release here

Small Business Emergency Assistance Website

Interested businesses and entrepreneurs can contact the program through the following channels:

Northwest Arkansas Council Website

University of Arkansas Economic Development Website


March 30, 2020 Update:

CARES Act Small Business Debt Relief Program

Within the CARES Act the Small Business Debt Relief Program provides immediate debt relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA Loans, specifically SBA 7(a), SBA 504, and SBA Micro-loans. The program states that the SBA will cover all loan payments on these loans (including principle, interest, and fees) for six months. This relief is also available to small businesses who take out loans within six months of the CARES Act becoming law.  Click here to visit our dedicated page to learn more about this program.

In his daily press briefing, Governor Hutchinson and other state officials announced new information about financial assistance for individuals and small businesses made available through Arkansas legislation, the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and more. Businesses can find out more information on different types of assistance using these links:

Unemployment Benefits

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

CARES Act Payroll Tax Deferment and Credit

CARES Act Retirement Plan Changes

More information about the City of Fayetteville’s Small Business Resiliency Task Force is available here.

You can watch the Governor’s briefing here. Information about individual and business assistance begins around eight minutes into the recording.



March 28, 2020 Update:

Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Press Conference with Congressman French Hill and Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston

Governor Asa Hutchinson held a press conference with Congressman French Hill, Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston, as well as others on March 28, 2020. The press conference contained a large amount of updates to the business community. To view Governor Hutchinson’s press conference, click here.

Information for businesses and residents  on the CARES Act

  • For more information on the Payroll Tax Deferment and Credit included in the CARES Act click here.
  • Fore more information on the Retirement Plan changes in the CARES Act click here

SBA Paycheck Protection Loan Program in the CARES Act

On March 27, 2020 H.R. 748 CARES Act (also known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) became law. The U.S. Small Business Administration loans within the CARES Act are under the Paycheck Protection Program. This was the largest section of the CARES Act with $350 billion in funding allocated to the program. Paycheck Protections Program Loans (PPLs) are different than the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) discussed in the section below. PPLs are modeled after the SBA’s 7(a) loan program. Startup Junkie Consulting has developed an overview of small business relief programs in the CARES Act:

Legislative Update from Startup Junkie Consulting: Understanding Small Business Relief in the CARES Act 

How can I apply for the SBA Paycheck Protection Loan?

More details over the specifics of applying for these loans will be available soon. Unlike the Economic Injury Disaster Loans, borrowers will need to apply through banks, credit unions, and other lenders. The SBA will be publishing additional information on eligible lenders soon. 

Can a portion of the Paycheck Protection Loan’s be eligible for forgiveness?

Yes. Please see Startup Junkie Consulting’s overview of the CARES Act.

Can a business apply for and obtain both the EIDL and the Paycheck Protection Program Loan from the SBA?

Businesses may apply for both loans. Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) recipients and those who receive loan payment relief through the Small Business Debt Relief Program may apply for and take out a PPL loan as long as there is no duplication in the uses of funds (further guidance from SBA forthcoming).

Are there resource providers available to help me apply for the Paycheck Protection Program Loans from the SBA?

Yes. Numerous resource providers will be available to assist you:

Helpful Links and Resources pertaining to SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loans:


March 27, 2020 Update: 

Preparing to apply and applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)

Small businesses who intend on applying for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration may want to begin applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans now. Startup Junkie Consulting has developed a "Get Ready Guide: Applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan" that may help you navigate the process. The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce has also developed a resource guide that may help you as you apply.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently developed a new application portal the Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The SBA application portal contains links all of the necessary forms and instructions on how to apply. Click here to go to the U.S.Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan portal. 

Have questions or need help applying? Numerous resource providers are ready to help you:

Helpful Links and Resources pertaining to SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs):

*Please note the CARES ACT contains an additional program loan which will be deployed through the SBA’s existing 7(a) loan program frame work. Businesses may be able to apply for both. For more information on the CARES ACT please see the update from March 28, 2020.


March 27, 2020 Update: Small Business Resource Webinars 

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is hosting multiple webinars for small businesses this week and next week:

March 31, 2020 10:00AM-11:00AM ASBTDC Applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 1, 2020 10:00AM- 11:00AM ASBTDC Take Your Business Online

April 2, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Applying for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

April 2, 2020 2:00PM-3:00PM ASBTDC Connecting to Capital

More Webinars are being planned. Stay up to date with ASBTDC Webinars by keeping up with their events calendar.


March 23, 2020 Update: New Directive from Governor Hutchinson closing barber shops, beauty salons, and more

In his daily press briefing, Governor Hutchinson announced a new directive closing barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, tattoo studios, massage therapy locations and more. The official directive from the Arkansas Department of Health detailing these closures will be available tomorrow from the ADH website. (update: find the directive here). This directive will be in effect as of March 25, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. 

Fayetteville residents who observe establishments operating out of compliance with the Arkansas Department of Health’s directives are encouraged to call the non-emergency line for Police and Fire Dispatch at 479-587-3560.

The Governor also announced that the individual tax filing deadline in Arkansas has been extended to July 15, matching federal individual income tax deadlines. Existing deadlines for corporate and estimated tax filers remain the same for Arkansas state taxes. A special session of the legislature will be convened soon to address an anticipated $353 million budget shortfall, which officials expect as a result of both an economic downturn from closed businesses and the delayed receipt of individual tax payments.


March 22, 2020 Update: Unemployment Information Update

Are you a resident who has been impacted by a layoff in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you a business owner looking for information pertaining to unemployment benefits? Please see the information below:

The State of Arkansas has opened a new unemployment hotline, if you have had difficulties applying for unemployment online please call the new hotline at from 8:00AM-3:30PM (Monday-Friday): 844.908.2178

Below you will find information from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services on common questions pertaining to unemployment:

Notice to Individuals Inquiring About the Availability of Unemployment Insurance Benefits As a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Common Questions and Answers for Workers Regarding the Unemployment Program and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Common Questions and Answers for Employers Regarding the Unemployment Insurance Program and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to apply for unemployment benefits:

Online at: dws.arkansas.gov/unemployment/ezarc/

By Phone Monday-Friday (8:00AM-3:30PM): 844.908.2178


March 20, 2020 Update: Major update over Business Resources pertaining to COVID-19

U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Loans

The SBA has approved Disaster Declaration #16372 Arkansas Disaster number AR-00109 as a statewide declaration for small businesses affected by COVID-19. Businesses located in all counties can apply at: SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Website

Startup Junkie Consulting has developed a guide for how you can be prepared to apply. Click here to view their Disaster Loan Guide.

Check out the SBA statewide calendar for upcoming webinars and virtual events.

Check out SBA’s Arkansas Resource Guide here.

SBA Update to Arkansas COVID-19 Resources (Important Information, please review).

Sign up for SBA Updates here.

ASBTDC Economic Injury Loans Fact Sheet

Tips from ASBTDC on SBA Economic Injury Loan Applications:

  • Use Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox to apply.
  • The Help Button provides useful information for each page.
  • Use the Save button frequently.
  • Be patient and keep trying if you experience slow load times.

Need a hand? ASBTDC is available to assist you virtually by phone, email, or video conference. Contact your consultant or click here to complete ASBTDC’s online signup.

For additional information on disaster assistance, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-887-8339) or email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or contact the Arkansas SBA team at 501-324-7379.

Small Business Resiliency Task Force (SBRTF)

Mayor Jordan has developed a Small Business Resiliency Task Force. The purpose of this task force is to expand capacity within the Department of Economic Vitality as it and it’s partners work to assist, explore, and develop resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Task Force will utilize a broad range of expertise from various organizations and industry sectors and be charged with the following:

  • Identifying additional measures to alleviate burdens from small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Identifying access to capital opportunities for businesses who are not eligible for certain State or Federal resources;
  • Identifying measures to assist dislocated workers impacted by business closures due to COVID-19;
  • Access best practices for small business support from communities across the country, exploring how to adapt them to work within the parameters of the laws of the City of Fayetteville and State of Arkansas;
  • Identifying and developing mid-term and long-term strategies for the redevelopment and activation of small businesses within the City of Fayetteville.

HMR Tax Payment deferred 30 days

HMR tax reports and HMR taxes are due this month. The City advises business owners to file their HMR tax reports on time, but will defer the required tax payment without penalty or interest for 30 days.  

What’s next:

The Department of Economic Vitality is working with resource providers to continue to make the SBA loan application process easier.  Webinars on how to apply for SBA loans or being planned. The date and time of these webinars will be finalized soon. The Department of Economic Vitality recognizes not every business will be eligible for SBA Economic Injury loans and is actively pursuing alternative options for access to capital. 

Have an idea on how to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic? Your ideas are valued and welcome, email the Department of Economic Vitality directly. 


March 19, 2020 Update: General update over Business Resources and impacts pertaining to COVID-19

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced new regulations which prohibit dine-in service at bars and restaurants, Mayor Jordan issued the following amended policy effective immediately:

  • Bars and restaurants are allowed to provide takeout, curbside, and home delivery services only.
  • Restaurants are hereby granted temporary suspension of any and all City regulations that might prevent them from operating as grocery stores/food markets or home delivery service.
  • The maximum occupancy of any bar or restaurant providing the services above shall not exceed 10 people.
  • Licensed restaurants, microbrewery restaurants, distilleries, small breweries, small farm wineries or liquor stores may operate pursuant to the emergency rule enacted by Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • All restaurants and bars shall continue to abide by all Department of Health regulations.

To view Mayor Jordan’s amended policy from March 19, 2020 please click here.

To watch Governor Asa Hutchinson’s press conference from March 19, 2020 please click here.


March 18, 2020 Update: General update over Business Resources pertaining to COVID-19

Mayor Jordan held a press conference with Police Chief Mike Reynolds, Fire Chief Brad Hardin, City Attorney Kit Williams, and Director of Economic Vitality Devin Howland. To view the press conference, click here.

Governor Asa Hutchinson hosted a COVID-19 Update to the media today. To view the Governor’s press conference, please click here. Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Mike Preston, provided an update on the Arkansas Department of Commerce’s resources for impacted businesses. To view the complete list of State resources please click the link below.  The City of Fayetteville will post more details on these programs in the coming days.

Arkansas Economic Development Commission COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Employers

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  Benefits:  

Arkansas is suspending work requirements for SNAP benefits through the end of April 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Website


March 17, 2020 Update: Notice to Individuals Inquiring About the Availability of Unemployment Insurance Benefits As a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic (updated on March 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM)

On March 17, 2020 the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services published a notice pertaining to individuals seeking unemployment insurance benefits as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Click here to view the notice.

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Website

Unemployment Insurance Website

To file your unemployment claim online, visit DWS EZARC page: dws.arkansas.gov/unemployment/ezarc/ 

For additional questions related to the State’s Unemployment Insurance program, please contact your local office representative or you may contact ADWS at the following:


March 16, 2020 Update:  SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Update

As the City works with our resource providers to activate the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the SBA has requested  "Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Business" forms be completed and submitted. The completion of this worksheet is not an application for an SBA loan, however, the completion and submittal of the worksheet to the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management will assist the state in receiving a declaration from SBA

Step one: Complete the U.S. Small Business Administration’s "Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Business"

  • The form asks when the impact start and what is the estimated end date. City staff is advising to put "TBD" in the end date box.

Step two: Email the completed "Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Business" to businesscovid19@adem.arkansas.gov


Assistance for Small Businesses 

City of Fayetteville officials are closely monitoring and evaluating information about COVID-19. We will work to bring awareness to resources for small businesses as they become available. Please check this page for the latest information pertaining to business resources

City of Fayetteville COVID-19 Page

Arkansas Economic Development Commission COVID-19 Resources

Access to Capital

U.S. Small Business Administration Lender Match regular SBA loan programs are still active. To be connected with a local participating vendor, please utilize the U.S. SBA’s lender match program or contact the City’s entrepreneurship contractor, Startup Junkie Consulting, for assistance. 

Following the National Emergency declaration on March 13, 2020, new channels of US Small Business Administration capital may become available, such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Please check this page for the latest information on this topic. 

To view the US Small Business Administrations Press Release on Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19) click here.

Links and Other Information 

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Arkansas Department of Health Guidance for Employers

CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Primary CDC Page Coronavirus Disease 2019 CDC (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Real Time Map

Local Resource Partners

City of Fayetteville Department of Economic Vitality is the City of Fayetteville’s economic development staff. To contact the department of economic vitality, please email staff below:

Devin Howland, Director DHowland@fayetteville-ar.gov 
Chung Tan, Business Development Manager CTan@fayetteville-ar.gov 

Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce The City’s Economic Development contractor, the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, will remain open and available, however they are urging phone/or email communication over in person meetings. All Chamber of Commerce events currently scheduled through March 31, 2020 have been postponed and will be rescheduled.  

US. Small Business Administration- Northwest Arkansas Office is an independent agency of the federal government created to aid, counsel, assist, and protect small businesses. 

Startup Junkie Consulting Startup Junkie Consulting will continue to provide free consulting and support to small businesses on a remote basis. To schedule a meeting, please visit their website and schedule a consulting session. 

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center ASBTDC is still open. However, they are working remotely. They are accessible by email and phone. 

Assistance for workers impacted by layoffs or business closures:

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Unemployment Insurance

Fayetteville Workforce Center

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Witnessing price gouging?

Understand Arkansas’s Price Gouging Law

Report Price Gouging/File a Consumer Complaint with the Attorney General’s Office

Tips for Dining and Drinking Establishments During COVID-19 Outbreak:

Crowdsourced from your favorite Fayetteville places and health department resources. We’ve asked around and observed what several Fayetteville businesses are doing. Please email additional tips to the Department of Economic Vitality at CTan@Fayetteville-ar.gov

Proximity

  • Engage with your customer from a social distance of six-feet away;
  • Reduce occupancy so customers can spread out;
  • Ask people to wait outside if lines are long;
  • Offer drive-thru, pick-up, or curbside service.

Remove self-service items from tables and to-go stations. Examples below. Offer these upon customer request:

  • Salt/pepper shakers;
  • Condiment bottles;
  • Napkins;
  • Unwrapped straws;
  • Stir sticks;
  • Utensils, tongs;
  • Stacks of to-go cups and lids;
  • Bar nuts and pretzels;
  • To-go breath mints;
  • Toothpick dispensers.

Extra cleaning and sanitizing:

  • Do not reuse towels to wipe down tables or clean;
  • Sanitize handheld and shared back-of-house items such as pitcher handles, beer taps, espresso machine handles and knobs, soda buttons, spigots, etc.;
  • Sanitize all handles and knobs in front-of-house and back-of-house areas;
  • Sanitize and wipe both customer and staff payment and ordering screens/buttons;
  • Wipe down table, booths, seat arms and backs, etc., after each customer;
  • Ask customers if they would like a menu and then sanitize after each use or use paper menus and recycle;
  • Don’t use bill presenter folders or trays;
  • Keep a limited number of pens available and sanitize after each use;
  • Constantly sanitize doors (entrances, walk-ins, etc.).

Customers can help by using hand sanitizer or washing hands before and after:

  • Taking a seat;
  • Paying the bill;
  • Leaving the establishment.

Note: These suggestions come from Health Department resources as well as crowdsourced from Fayetteville, Arkansas establishments.

Tips and Recommendations for Ventures and Small Businesses amid COVID-19 from Startup Junkie Consulting:

Startup Junkie Consulting, the City of Fayetteville’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation contractor has complied a list of recommendations for ventures and small businesses amid COVID-19. To view those recommendations, click here.