According to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, food insecurity and homelessness are the biggest concerns for families with children. Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families say policymakers need to do more to help families who are struggling financially weather the health crisis.
Since the onset of the pandemic in March, hotels have struggled to bring in revenue as tourism remains low. The American Hotel and Lodging Association reports that, nationwide, occupancy rates are half of what they were last year or worse. In Northwest Arkansas, hospitality and tourism employment has dropped by nearly 17,000 jobs in one year.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic was detected in the U.S., the share of women in the workforce has fallen to levels not seen since 1988. Data shows women not only lost the most jobs since the start of the outbreak, but they are also exhausted from performing most of the childcare and household responsibilities, so some are choosing to leave their jobs.
A new Heartland Forward report lays out a strategy for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and long-term prosperity for the Northwest Arkansas region. The plan consists of seven key points including growing the economy and jobs around big company anchors, and making diversity and inclusion a regional priority.
In May, Arkansas allowed restaurants to re-open their dining rooms to the public with reduced capacity, adjusted seating space, mask requirements and health screenings for employees. But even now, many local restaurants are still trying to find safe ways to reach customers- from to-go only or outside seating. And as colder weather approaches some establishments are uncertain about what they'll do next.