FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2020
Contact: Lisa Thurber
Director of Communications
Mayor Jordan Reaffirms Efforts to Help Businesses
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Mayor Lioneld Jordan and City officials are taking proactive steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. These steps fall in line with new, temporary regulations issued by Governor Hutchinson and guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Yesterday, Governor Hutchinson announced new regulations prohibiting dine-in service at bars and restaurants across the state. Following this announcement, Mayor Jordan issued an order with new regulations for bars and restaurants. City law preventing restaurants from selling groceries and food items has been suspended. Restaurants do not need to amend their business licenses or request permission to change their use. To assist with helping businesses advertise and provide services to customers, the City is allowing temporary signage, such as banners, to be displayed without time limitations. Business owners are also permitted to reconfigure their parking and loading areas to facilitate deliveries and curbside pick-up, provided that existing curb cuts (driveways) are maintained.
In response to questions about Hotel Motel Restaurant (HMR) reports and taxes due, City officials advise that HMR reports must be submitted on time this month. However, the City will allow required tax payments to be deferred without interest or penalty for 30 days. This change has been made to offer some flexibility in recognition of the challenges many businesses currently face.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state of Arkansas’s request for a Disaster Declaration. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is now open for application. The City of Fayetteville is adding information and resources for businesses on an almost daily basis at this webpage.
Additionally, Mayor Jordan has announced the creation of the Small Business Resiliency Task Force (SBRTF). The purpose of this task force is to expand the capacity of the Department of Economic Vitality as it works to assist, explore and develop resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Task Force will use a broad range of expertise from various organizations and industry sectors and will be charged with:
- Identifying additional measures to alleviate burdens upon small businesses during the pandemic
- Identifying access to capital opportunities for businesses that are not eligible for certain state or federal resources
- Identifying measures to assist dislocated workers impacted by business closures due to COVID-19
- Assessing best practices for small business support from communities across the country and 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
Businesses and residents can check the City’s www.fayetteville-ar.gov/covid19 webpage and sub-webpages to keep up to date on announcements and information for Fayetteville.