LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. announced on Wednesday the launch of a mobile COVID-19 testing site in partnership with UAMS and the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock, a new City of Little Rock small business loan program and a partnership to distribute masks to Little Rock residents.
Mayor Scott said Wednesday the city wants to increase testing for African Americans and the “Latinx” communities in Little Rock. According to the mayor, about 60,000 people in the capital city are African American or “Latinx”.
The UAMS Mobile Triage Unit will be at the Southwest Little Rock Community Center parking lot, 6401 Baseline Rd., on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Interpreters will be present to assist Spanish speakers. UAMS physicians will conduct screenings to determine if an individual needs to be tested. Those who are tested will receive test results by phone (results take several days to come back). Those who are not tested will be given instructions on how to take care of themselves at home.
UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson said Wednesday UAMS has also been able to test people in Texarkana, Helena, Warren, Forrest City and will visit Mountain Home later this week with the mobile unit.
Patterson also said the unit is also about educating the community about ways to prevent transmission of the virus.
The mayor also announced a $500,000 small business loan program.
According to Kevin Howard, City of Little Rock Director of Housing and Neighborhood Programs, small businesses in Little Rock can apply for up to $5,000 with no interest. Howard said after one year of jobs being created or retained, the loan will be forgiven. For more information on the Small Business Emergency Assistance Program, click here.
The small business loan program is funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program.
Small businesses, including sole proprietorships, corporations, or limited liability corporations, that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 may apply for a forgivable loan up to $5,000 at zero interest. There are no payments during the first year. If
jobs are retained, created, or restored and still exist after one year, the loan is forgiven upon verification.
Other requirements include:
Must be listed in the dataset of active businesses registered in Little Rock
Must either have been in business more than two years and have 20 or fewer employees
Or be a for-profit micro-enterprise business with five or fewer employees including the owner
and owner must earn a household annual income up to or less than 80% of the area median
Applicant must be a directly affected small business or micro-enterprise business identified in
Governors Proclamation E.O. 20-13, dated April 4, 2020
Must have documented business income loss, including business income comparisons and
narrative description of impacts
The City will begin accepting applications on Monday, May 4. The public will be able to find and
complete the application at LittleRock.gov/covid19 by clicking the Small Businesses button. Questions may be directed to Doris Turner at 501-371-6825 or email@example.com.
Mayor Scott said Wednesday Little Rock a need for mask distribution in underserved areas south of Interstate 630. Kroger at Colonel Glenn and Asher, as well as Edwards Food Giant on Main Street, will distribute masks on May 8. Ten thousand masks will be distributed.
Homeless shelters that need masks for residents should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Thank you to UAMS for recognizing the need to increase testing in our City,” Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.
said. “Communities of color in Arkansas and the nation are experiencing a disproportionate share of
incidences of COVID-19, and increased testing in areas that are predominately black and brown is crucial in ensuring we are providing the necessary services to slow and stop the spread of the virus. We are greatly appreciative of our partner grocers, Kroger and Edwards, as we launch our mask distribution efforts in vulnerable communities. And our small business emergency assistance program will help fill in the gap for those business owners that have had reduced or no income since our City’s first instance of COVID-19 community spread. Thank you to Housing and Neighborhood Programs and our congressional delegation for their work in making these funds available for this program.”
The mayor also said Wednesday it’s likely the city curfew will be scaled back if restaurants are reopened by Governor Asa Hutchinson.