If you are a business owner struggling to meet payroll or if you have recently become unemployed due to the response from COVID-19, we want to direct you to state resources that may help.
Earlier this week the Governor announced that Arkansas will tap Community Development Block Grant funds and the state’s Quick Action Closing Fund to support small businesses and nonprofits that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state will allocate $12 million in block grant money and up to $4 million from the quick-action fund to provide bridge loans to help midsize companies and nonprofits remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also announced the transfer of $3 million of settlement funds from her office to the quick-action loan fund for small businesses.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has been made available to eligible businesses and private non-profits that were impacted.
These working capital loans of up to $2 million can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Businesses and employers can access information on the grants and loans at www.arkansasedc.com/covid19.
The Governor has also directed Division of Workforce Services to waive a number of restrictions for workers who have lost employment to ensure that the Unemployment Insurance Program (UIP) can provide needed assistance in a timely manner.
Unemployed individuals will be able to collect benefits immediately upon application approval rather than the typical week-long waiting period.
In addition, for the next 30 days, unemployed individuals will not be required to meet job search requirements. In person application requirements are also waived.
Arkansans can apply at www.ezarc.adws.arkansas.gov.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will suspend the work requirement through the end of April. DHS also will expedite decisions about SNAP eligibility for those who lose income because of COVID-19 www.access.arkansas.gov.
We will continue to update you daily on new developments concerning the state response to COVID-19 at www.arkansashouse.org.