LR allocates $ 500,000 in zero interest loans to small businesses
Starting tomorrow, the City of Little Rock will be the newest government entity to provide financial assistance to small businesses.
People should line up early if they need the zero rate loan offered by the city. The money will flow quickly.
The city has set aside $ 500,000 to provide forgivable loans to businesses with less than 20 employees. Loans will be capped at $ 5,000 and will be canceled after one year if jobs are created, retained or restored. More information on littlerock.gov.
To be eligible for the loan, businesses must be officially listed in Little Rock’s Existing Business Database and must demonstrate lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic.
Any help offered to help the Arkansans get through the coronavirus shutdown is quickly swallowed up and disappears as quickly as it hits the market.
At midday Wednesday, for example, the governor and his assembled team of experts announced plans to reopen the Arkansas economy and an initiative to boost the effort with economic aid.
The $ 15 million Ready for Business program began receiving applications Wednesday at 5 p.m. for grants ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 100,000, depending on the number of Arkansans employed by the company. An hour later, the program was closed because the money was missing.
At 6:30 p.m., the Arkansas Economic Development Commission issued a tweet saying the program was closed. “The Ready for Business grant program received over 2,000 applications in one hour, exceeding the allocated funding,” the tweet read.
Arkansas also added an additional $ 1 million to a program providing $ 25,000 bridging loans to small businesses awaiting more substantial support from the federal government. This money, too, was already accounted for when it was announced.
About 100 companies that applied but did not receive funding when the initiative was first announced in March were eligible for replenishment. There was essentially no funding available for new applicants.
Community organizations with awareness programs find similar responses.
Residents of central Arkansas began lining up for free food packages to help feed their families as early as 4:30 a.m. for a giveaway that was scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
Arkansas Foodbank volunteers began handing out lunch boxes early to move the stretched cars along Interstate 430 for the event at the Outlets of Little Rock. Enough food to feed 840 families was gone in 90 minutes.
Likewise, a church in Little Rock distributed 120 boxes of food in an hour.
These responses show the real need to keep families from going hungry and businesses that need cash injections now to stay afloat.
Key economic indicators, at the same time, reveal the extent of the economic deterioration.
Consumer spending in the United States fell 7.5% in March, the largest monthly decline in 60 years. Incomes fell 2% in March – the biggest drop in 40 years – and reflected company closures that were laying off workers.
Gross domestic product is also falling rapidly – it fell 4.8% for the quarter ending March 31. This measure fell for the first time in six years, and the quarterly decline was the largest since the 2008-09 recession.
The US Bureau of Economic Analysis attributed the decline to door-to-door orders. The orders “led to rapid changes in demand, as businesses and schools switched to remote work or canceled transactions, and consumers canceled, restricted or redirected spending,” the agency said in the report. publication of figures.
A quick update on the $ 1,200 emergency stimulus payment for those earning less than $ 75,000 a year: The White House reported last week that the Internal Revenue Service issued more than 778,000 payments with an economic impact totaling more than $ 1.4 billion to eligible Arkansans.
Don’t worry if you haven’t received a payment: go to Get my payment on irs.gov to see where you stand. It can be as simple as making sure the IRS has your current banking information to make a direct deposit.
Gig economy workers in Arkansas are still waiting for the state to open the pipeline so they can claim the weekly $ 600 unemployment checks promised by the Federal Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act against coronaviruses.
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services has developed a system to accommodate this task force.
Arkansas law does not allow unemployment insurance benefits to be paid to this category of workers. So when Congress approved the group’s inclusion in weekly federal emergency aid, the state had to figure out how to accept, treat, and pay these unemployed people.
A spokesperson for Workforce Services said the program is expected to start accepting applications this week. More than 20,000 workers have signed up to receive weekly updates on the state’s progress so they’re ready to pounce once nominations are accepted.
Commerce Secretary Mike Preston has estimated that at least 125,000 self-employed and contract workers will file claims for benefits under the Unemployment Assistance Program in the event of a pandemic. The initiatives provide $ 600 per week for 39 weeks and payments will be retroactive to the week ending February 8 for workers who can show they have lost concerts or a job due to the coronavirus.
As for the extended federal benefit of $ 600, the Federal Reserve found it would extend a little further into Arkansas. The Fed’s study took into account regional price differences for goods and services and other essential household spending.
The extended benefit is valued at $ 668 in Arkansas. The $ 600 payout is worth the most in Mississippi at $ 700 and the least in Hawaii, $ 506.
UPDATING THE SBA LOAN
The federal small business loan process didn’t get any easier or simpler when the second round of funding was launched last week.
Hopes were high for small businesses in Arkansas as the US Small Business Administration began accepting loan applications Monday morning. An hour later, those aspirations collapsed with the Small Business Administration’s online application portal.
Lenders are required to use the online portal to submit loans on behalf of their small business clients who need financial assistance to stay afloat during the pandemic. Access to the portal was hit and miss for the first two days, and lenders were taking a crossover approach to submitting loans.
Small Business Administration officials tried a few tricks to influence the process and unclog the portal.
First, they banned the use of robotic submissions. Next, authorities limited requests for emergency small business loans only to those submitted by the country’s smaller lenders, an unprecedented move the agency touted as granting “special access” to small banks and banks. their clients.
For eight hours Wednesday night, the Small Business Administration accepted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans only from lenders with less than $ 1 billion in assets.
At the end of the week, Arkansas bankers said the application process was going smoothly.
The late numbers are coming in, but the Small Business Administration says it has processed more than 960,000 loans worth nearly $ 100 billion. More than 5,300 lenders nationwide have participated in the effort.
The additional $ 310 billion Congress provided to replenish the program is expected to be used up this week. The first round of financing, $ 349 billion, dried up in 13 days. “We urge all small businesses in need of PPP funds to work with their bank and apply quickly before funds run out,” said Lorrie Trogden, president and CEO of the Arkansas Bankers Association.
SundayBusiness Monday 03/05/2020