• COVID-19

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    The coronavirus outbreak has global health consequences, but there will be many local health and economic consequences here at home as well.  The Malvern / Hot Spring County Chamber of Commerce continues to work with our partners at the state and federal levels, including chambers of commerce and governmental agencies, to provide resources for our local businesses and our community at large.  For financial and health concerns, here are some resources that can help. We will continue to update this list as additional resources become available.



    The Coronavirus Response Toolkit

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put together this toolkit to help businesses and citizens alike understand how to navigate the coronavirus.  There are guidelines on how small business owners can ensure they are keeping their customers and employees safe.  The toolkit also includes a business preparedness checklist. This checklist can help you figure out what to prioritize and to create a plan of communication for your employees.  The Chamber has also created a customizable flyer that small businesses can use to communicate their coronavirus efforts to their customers. You can find the flyer here.

    Disaster Assistance Loans from the SBA

    The SBA has created a comprehensive Coronavirus page with all of its resources in one place. You can find that page here.

    The SBA announced it would offer disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus.  These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained “substantial economic injury” due to the spread of the coronavirus.  These loans can be used to pay off outstanding debts, payroll and any other bills they are unable to pay.  However, small businesses that have access to credit are not eligible.  Small businesses with no available credit qualify for an interest rate of 3.75%, and nonprofits will have an interest rate of 2.75%.  The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with state governors that submit relief requests.

    UPDATE:  The Malvern/HSC Chamber requested input on financial injury from area businesses.  On 3/18/20, the Governor announced he had adequate qualifying evidence from around the state to submit the official request to the SBA.  Arkansas should be an approved state within a week. 

    UPDATE: 3/20/20 - Arkansas has been approved with ALL counties included.

    If your business has suffered significant financial injury, you can begin to prepare for your application by looking over the information required.  You can get that information here.

    Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

    SBA Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

    • Contact the SBA's Arkansas office by calling 501-324-7379.

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Combating the Coronavirus

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

    OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

    U.S. Department of Labor - Coronavirus Resources



    For health and education updates, visit the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management website here

    For questions about ways the Arkansas Economic Development Commission can assist your business during this time, contact us by email or phone:

    Quick Action Loan Program 

    • Allocation of $4,000,000 from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund
    • Eligible companies may apply for a loan or loan guaranty of up to $250,000.
    • Prioritize small to medium-sized companies that are in the supply chain of essential goods and services (including healthcare, food manufacturing, logistics)

    Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

    Up to $12 million in CDBG assistance will be made available for COVID19 relief and recovery. This money will be used to provide grants to eligible local governments with which to provide direct economic assistance in the form of loans to companies impacted by COVID19 and grants to clinics, hospitals and other non-profits who are working hard to provide care in rural Arkansas and to vulnerable populations such as the homeless. AEDC is undertaking necessary regulatory steps required by the federal government to implement this assistance. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

    State Chamber Coronavirus Resource Page

    Department of Health Guidance for Employers

    Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program

    • Provides an alternative for employers faced with a reduction in their workforce
    • Allows an employer to divide available work or hours of work among a specific group(s) of employees in lieu of a layoff
    • Allows the employees to receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours

    Manufacturing Supply Chain Checklist

    Arkansas Small Business Technology Development Center



    If you become separated from employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may file an unemployment insurance claim through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (DWS).

    Notice to Individuals Inquiring About the Availability of Unemployment Insurance Benefits as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    For additional questions related to the Unemployment Insurance program, please contact your local office representative, or you may contact ADWS Info:

    This press release outlines the steps Governor Hutchinson is taking to make unemployment benefits more accessible during the coronavirus pandemic:


    Click here to download the list of Workforce Center locations

    Go directly to the local DWS office serving Hot Spring County at https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/contact/adws-malvern-office/


  • Baptist Health Establishes 24/7 Hotline for COVID-19 Questions

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Baptist Health has established a hotline for residents to call in with their concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Click the link to read the full press release,Baptist-Health-Coronavirus-Hotline or call the hotline at 1-888-BAPTIST.

    Baptist Health Opens COVID-19 Screening Sites Throughout Arkansas

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health has set up sites at various locations throughout Arkansas to evaluate people who are concerned about possible exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19). A list of the locations can be found here: Baptist-Health-Screening-Sites.  Hot Spring County residents, please call 501-413-9106 to schedule an appointment.