Economist breaks down COVID-19 impact on state’s economy

KNWA

A local economist explains how the success of our state and local economy starts with Arkansans.

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — When you look at the overall statistics, things seem to be improving in terms of COVID-19’s impact on the state’s economy, but one local economist’s research shows that’s not the case for everyone.

We’ve taken every day day-by-day since this thing began.

HUNTER KISSINGER, AREA MANAGER, THE BUTTERED BISCUIT
COURTESY OF THE BUTTERED BISCUIT

It’s been almost six months since the first COVID-19 cases was reported in Arkansas.

Soon after restaurants like, The Buttered Biscuit, scrambled to change day-to-day operations.

“We were a 99-percent dine-in restaurant and then went to 100-percent to-go,” Hunter Kissinger, the manager for all three locations in Northwest Arkansas said. “We had to adjust.”

Kissinger said all thanks to the community’s support, The Buttered Biscuit has been able to stay afloat during this tough time.

“Guests continued to flow in, online orders started coming, and the phone continued to ring,” he said. “We’ve been able to do the most we’re able to do.”

University of Arkansas Economist, Mervin Jebaraj, said even though the economy is improving Arkansas still has a long way to go.

COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

Jebaraj presented his Arkansas Economy in the Time of COVID-19 report to the Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force on Wednesday, September 9.

The report was conducted by surveying patrons and using data from credit card processing companies.

According to the data, there’s been a 16-percent decrease in restaurant consumer spending since the first reported United States COVID-19 case.

“The entertainment sector, the leisure sector, those are struggling and continue to struggle and need help soon or else we will see a lot of business failures,” Jebaraj said.

In order to help the economy stay open, Jebaraj said it’s ultimately up to Arkansans to do their part in reducing the number of coronavirus cases.

“We certainly as a state and as a region have invested a lot in these particular kinds of businesses, that add to the quality of life here,” he said. “We don’t want to lose all of that in the course of one year because we were not able to control the pandemic here.”

COURTESY OF THE BUTTERED BISCUIT

Which is also Kissinger’s plea.

Right now we have guests coming in and that’s helping our business and we’re hoping to continue to do that over these next few months.

HUNTER KISSINGER, AREA MANAGER, THE BUTTERED BISCUIT

The Buttered Biscuit has three locations:

  • 1210 J.T.L Pkwy Suite 104, Springdale, AR 
  • 1403 SE Moberly Ln, Bentonville, AR 
  • 1001 SW Regional Airport Blvd #17, Bentonville, AR

Thank you to the community for all the support during this crazy time! We’re grateful.

HUNTER KISSINGER, AREA MANAGER, THE BUTTERED BISCUIT

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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