Sen. John Boozman met with leaders of Lyon College Wednesday morning to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to Boozman’s office, the school has received $2.3 million through the program in the past year. PPP was created to support small businesses. The program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Boozman wrote in his legislative column last week that the innovative response helped tackle the economic challenges facing small businesses by keeping employees on payroll and covering the cost of rent and utilities.

In Arkansas, it has enabled more than 64,000 small businesses to maintain operations.

Boozman continues to focus on vaccine distribution in Arkansas. Last week, he launched the “Shots in ARms” tour to promote the COVID-19 vaccine. This week he met with rural health care providers like The Corner Drug Store in Melbourne, the Newton County Health Unit, and Boston Mountain Regional Health Center in Marshall.

Boozman also visited with local officials in northern Arkansas counties to receive updates and discuss ongoing challenges they face as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He toured the AmericaN95 Mask Facility in Mountain Home and North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, to discuss expanding rural broadband in the region. This year NAEV received $27.5 million through the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase 1 and is using funding to achieve a five-year goal of connecting all of their members who want broadband service.

Boozman met with Superintendent Wes Henderson and other leaders in the Yellville-Summit School District Tuesday to discuss challenges faced by rural schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He also visited Ozarka College and Black River Technical College, to discuss their collaboration with Emerson Electric to develop a workforce training program.

The planned Ash Flat facility will create 245 jobs within the next four years, by manufacturing products for mechanical, electrical and plumbing industries.

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