FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – One local economist said the second round of stimulus checks will play a significant role in helping the northwest Arkansas economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers said this bill would give a temporary $300 a week to unemployed people and a one time $600 payment to most Americans.

University of Arkansas researcher, David Sorto said this is much needed.

Sorto said in April, Benton and Washington Counties saw a significant drop in sales tax revenue. But, it rebounded after the first stimulus checks went out.

Sorto said based on this evidence from the first round of relief money, he is led to believe a second round would also help the local economy.

“The stimulus kind of helped alleviate some of the restrictions placed upon businesses due to Covid and businesses not being able to operate as usual,” Sorto said. “Businesses were able to adapt and people were coming back to the pattern of consumption they were doing beforehand.”

Sorto also said this money will help the unemployed. He said based on the data below, the state is still down by up to 10,800 jobs.