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Chamber Encourages Support of Small Businesses During COVID-19 Response

The Little Rock Regional Chamber joins public health officials in supporting our city, state and nation's efforts to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus through recommended practices of social distancing. While we each do our part in minimizing the impact this virus will have on our health, the economic health of our community and nation is also at risk.

Small businesses make up over 85 percent of our community's businesses and they stand to be particularly hard hit during the coming weeks and months as business as usual becomes anything but. The chamber is taking several steps to help support these businesses. In consultation with federal, state and local officials, the chamber has compiled information on publicly-available assistance for these businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other government agencies. That information is available on the chamber's website here, and is being updated as new information becomes available.

"For over 150 years, the chamber has stood with local businesses who have helped to build our Little Rock region," said Ronnie Dedman, 2020 chairman of the chamber's board of directors. "We know this government assistance can be helpful to some of our small businesses. However, the best way to help these establishments is the old-fashioned way - by buying what they have to sell."

The chamber is also encouraging healthy residents who are practicing social distancing to find safe ways to support local small businesses, from buying online gift cards to ordering carryout meals from local restaurants. A list of local restaurants has been created on the chamber's website to highlight those who are offering modified carryout and delivery services.

"One way to help is by making a commitment to eat out when possible through ordering in. That much-needed support could mean the difference in a business being able to survive the coming weeks of this uncertain time," said Jay Chesshir, president and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. "Anyone who is feeling ill, or had contact with someone who is, should absolutely maintain a self-quarantine. Yet there are many others who are practicing social distancing and we hope they will give some thought to supporting local restaurants and businesses."

The chamber will continue to update its website of small business resource assistance, a list of restaurants with carryout and delivery services on an ongoing basis. For more information, please visit littlerockchamber.com.

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