The Arkansas Department of Health lifted several restrictions and issued new directives for restaurants, gyms, and hair salons this week. While Arkansas takes steps to re-open the economy, we recognize the challenges still ahead. This week, we want to update you on the programs available to help Arkansas employees and businesses during this difficult time.
On the federal level, Congress has approved additional funds into the Payroll Protection Plan. For businesses who are were not able to receive funding in the first round of funding, please visit www.sba.gov.
The hotline hours to file for unemployment have been expanded to 7 days a week from 6am-4pm. Callers in the queue by 4pm will be assisted. You can also file on line at www.arunemployment.com. The online system closes at 6pm to process claims filed each day.
At that site is also a link for self-employed, independent contractors, and others covered under the CARES Act. There you can submit your name and email address to be notified when a system is built to process these claims which is expected in a matter of days. Even if you start another job, you will still be able to file weekly claims backdated to the date you became unable to work because of a COVID-19 related reason. If requesting this assistance, the Department of Commerce recommends filing your 2019 tax return so you can verify your income. Payment can still be made by the deadline, but it’s helpful to go ahead and file.
While some restrictions are being lifted, we must continue to do our part to limit the spread of the virus. Arkansans should continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask in public places. We will continue to update you on our progress as a state.