LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Unemployment coming back to the forefront of these daily updates as many are still waiting on those pandemic unemployment assistance payments.
Today Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston saying that this week the state will issue over 100,000 unemployment checks and the state has been praised in many national publications for having one of the more robust unemployment funds available so the state is not currently concerned about that fund running out.
The PUA for those who are self-employed, freelancers, and part of the gig economy should be able to apply for that and they are hoping that those payments will start to roll out in the next two weeks.
Governor Hutchinson mentioning today that Arkansas is in far better shape than most states in the country due to the approach the state took when closing down sectors of the economy and says the state is in a good position to bounce back more quickly.
Secretary Preston also praised the approach by Arkansas when it comes to the targeted approach the state took.
“We are fortunate, I compare the numbers to other states and where other states are looking and the number of claims they’re having and the payments that are going out and despite the large numbers we see in Arkansas it could be a lot worse compared to where other states currently stand and a lot of that I think you can attribute to our not sheltering in place, allowing businesses to stay open in a safe and secure manner, allowing their workers to safely still stay open, do the things that they need, offer them the PPE that they need. We’ve needed these companies to stay open and they’ve done so in a safe, secure manner and that’s allowed us to weather this storm a lot better than other states have and I commend our businesses for taking the leadership on that,” said Secretary Preston.
Also, the Arkansas Ready for Business grant program had over 12,300 applicants from across the state with $147.7 million requested by businesses in the state. 94% of those businesses have 50 or fewer and 46% of those who applied are women and minority-owned businesses.