Self-employed business owner asking for financial assistance from state leaders

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — A new system was made by the state of Arkansas to help self-employed workers during the pandemic, but his week state officials said it could be a few weeks before folks see those checks.

Family Fishing Trips in Hot Springs where Captain Darryl Morris says he’s been working hard to keep his business open, but it’s nearly impossible and now he’s asking for a little more attention from state leaders.

“We’re six weeks out and we have yet to see one penny,” said Morris.

Morris is voicing his frustrations and concerns after going almost two months with no financial assistance from the state.

The Cares Act that would assist self-employed folks like Morris was approved in late March, but Morris says he hasn’t heard any updates yet.

“I’m very fortunate that I work my business and have a little bit of money in the bank and I can pay my bills,” said Morris.

Morris’ business was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus.

“You cannot social distance in a boat with customers, so my business was shut down,” said Morris.

His business has been going for 15 years and if COVID-19 restrictions are still in place up until the winter it could get worse for Morris.

“Governor you’re doing a good job and I appreciate you but we gotta step up to the plate and start dishing out some of the money that the federal government has given to us to live our lives,” said Morris.

The natural state created a new system for pandemic unemployment assistance. Wednesday during the Governors daily COVID-19 update said 5,600 people had to re-apply for PUA but they’re working on getting that money out.

“Our IT people continuing to build the system, the information that I have is that we’re still hoping by the end of the month to have those checks issued, that’s the goal,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Morris says he doesn’t qualify for PPE, or any grants because he doesn’t have any W-2 employees so he’s relying on the PUA program.

He says he and other self-employed Arkansans just want some help.

“I understand it but damn, give me a break,” said Morris.

Again no exact date for when the financial assistance will be sent out.

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