April 2020

CARES Act Resources

By |2020-06-17T16:27:07+00:00April 3rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

Please find  at the links below new and updated resources that the U.S. Chamber has developed to assist businesses access resources created under the CARES Act (Phase III bill).  This includes an update to the guide we released several days ago on the Paycheck Protection Program.



Additionally, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued additional guidance yesterday regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.  Links to the resources provided by Treasury can be found, or on their webpage.


  • A top-line overview of the program can be found here.
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.
  • The application for borrowers can be found here.


Thank you and I hope that everyone is well and safe.

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Payroll Protection Program Borrower Information

By |2020-06-17T15:31:05+00:00April 1st, 2020|Uncategorized|

Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. Congress recently changed the rules regarding loan forgiveness. The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration are responsible for updating the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. You can find the most up-to-date information at: https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/uscc_ppp_forgiveness-guide.pdf
PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan. This guide is designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.
The process to calculate the amount of loan forgiveness requires three steps: 1. Determine the maximum amount of possible loan forgiveness based on the borrower’s expenditures during the 24 weeks after the loan is made; 2. Determine the amount, if any, by which the maximum loan forgiveness will be reduced because of reduced employment or reduced salaries and wages; and3. Apply the 60% rule that requires that at least 60% of eligible loan forgiveness expenses go towards payroll costs.
Expenses Qualifying for Loan Forgiveness:The following expenses incurred or paid by the borrower during the 24 weeks following loan origination (see below for determining the 24-week period) are eligible for forgiveness:••Payroll Expenses, defined as:•• Compensation (not exceeding $46,154 per employee) in the form of: gross salary, gross wages, gross commissions, and gross tips, vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave (other than leave for which the employer was reimbursed under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act), and allowance for separation or dismissal;•• Employer contribution for employee group health care coverage;•• Employer contribution for employee retirement plans; and•• Payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees. Note: For an independent contractor or sole proprietor, payroll costs only include wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation.••Non-Payroll Expenses, defined as:•• Mortgage interest payments for the business on real or personal property (debt incurred before February 15, 2020);•• Rent or lease payments for the business on real or personal property (lease in force before February 15, 2020); and•• Utility payments for the business for electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet access (service began before February 15, 2020).Note: For an independent contractor or sole proprietor, you must have claimed or be entitled to claim a deduction for these expenses on your 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C in order to claim them as expenses eligible for PPP loan forgiveness in 2020.
1B.Identifying Your 24-Week Period:The 24-week period during which expenses must be incurred or paid:••The 24 weeks (168 days) beginning on the day the PPP loan was disbursed or••For borrowers with a biweekly (or more frequent) payroll schedule, the 24 weeks (168 days) beginning on the first day of the first pay period following the PPP loan disbursement.Tip: If you are using an online date calculator, remember to count the date of the disbursement of the loan as part of the 168 days. For example, if the loan was disbursed on April 20, the last day of the 168 days would be October 4).
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March 2020


By |2020-03-25T22:41:36+00:00March 25th, 2020|Uncategorized|

COVID-19 March 25 Daily Update
White House and U.S. Senate leaders of both parties have reportedly struck an agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to aid workers, businesses and the health care system that have been strained by the rapidly increasing coronavirus outbreak. A Senate vote is expected today, with a House vote to follow. Stay tuned for further details.
State Chamber member AT&T is doing its utmost to keep everyone connected. Offerings include internet access to limited income households, expanded eligibility to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start, waiving domestic wireless voice and data overage fees for customers nationwide, offering Webex Meetings to help businesses stay connected, and assisting schools with distance learning tools. For full details, click here.
In other positive news, State Chamber member UAFS has donated more than 70,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) units to State Chamber member UAMS. The much-needed items include gloves, masks and gowns. Read more here.
Michael Pakko, an economist with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute, has released a study titled “Impact of COVID-19 on the Arkansas Economic Outlook.” The study examines Arkansas’s predicted unemployment rate as well as other indicators including personal income and consumer spending. The full study can be accessed here.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said yesterday during his daily press conference that he wants to convene a Special Session this Thursday to deal with the impending financial impact of COVID-19 on the state. The press conference also covered the latest information on the number of COVID-19 cases in the state and other items. To read a summary, click here.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) is continuing to provide webinars on relevant topics to help small businesses during this crisis. Upcoming offerings include online information sessions to help small businesses in filling out EIDL applications. Access their event page here to register for a webinar or for additional information.
The U.S. Department of Labor is providing guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including sections related to paid sick leave and expanded medical and family leave. Learn more here.
The State Chamber/AIA and the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) will hold another podcast from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. this Thursday, March 26, featuring State Chamber President & CEO Randy Zook and ACHI Director Dr. Joe Thompson. Additional details will follow.
For additional information and resources, check our COVID-19 Coronavirus and Arkansas page here.


By |2020-03-24T18:44:16+00:00March 24th, 2020|Uncategorized|

All local Social Security offices are closed to the public for in-person service as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020.  This decision protects the populations we serve—older Americans and people with underlying medical conditions—and our employees during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  However, we are still able to provide critical services.

Please visit our Social Security & Coronavirus webpage to get updates on the latest, including how to get help from the Social Security Administration by phone and online. I encourage you to share this information with your members, colleagues, affiliates, and other interested parties.


Jeffrey Buckner
Associate Commissioner
Office of Strategic and Digital Communications
(T) 410-965-1804






By |2020-03-18T17:12:54+00:00March 18th, 2020|Uncategorized|

You don’t want to miss this.

Visit our Website

COVID-19 – Coronavirus Business/Employer Update

The Trump Administration has proposed a $1-trillion economic stimulus
package to counter the effects of the coronavirus, including relief for
small businesses and provide sizable checks for American in the next two
weeks: Read more here .

The State Chamber/AIA wants to hear from you! If you have
business-related questions, ideas or stories to share in regard to
COVID-19, please let us know. There is a section at the top of the
COVID-19 page on our website where you can provide and share that
information with us here

Below are additional links that may be helpful for your business and

U.S. SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus here

U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division – FLSA and FLMA
Guidance here

U.S. EEOC Guidance here

Coronavirus in the Workplace: Health, Safety and Insurance
Considerations here

COVID-19 and Paid Leave: Three Scenarios to Plan For here

For additional information and resources, check our COVID-19
Coronavirus and Arkansas page here

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February 2020

By |2020-02-19T20:05:08+00:00February 19th, 2020|Uncategorized|


Pie Festival

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Cherokee Village

Pie is one of the most beloved Southern foods, connected to some of our most nostalgic memories of home, family, holidays and those special moments around the kitchen table.


Our state has a rich pie-making tradition and Arkansans love pie!  That’s why we are so excited to announce the first statewide festival to honor this much-loved food.


Start making your plans now to travel to Cherokee Village on Saturday, April 18, 2020 to be a part of the Arkansas Pie Festival and to celebrate ALL THINGS PIE!


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January 2020

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