COVID-19 Business Resources

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. Find 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 can 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.

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 will help you navigate the process. The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce has also developed a resource guide to 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 can 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 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.