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April 1, 2021

COVID-19

Arkansas Mask Mandate Ends

As of yesterday 3/30, the State of Arkansas will no longer enforce a state-wide mask mandate. And this is no April Fool's - Governor Asa Hutchinson said cities are now free to implement their own COVID-19 guidelines.

  • The City of Fayetteville came out early and confidently said, we are still taking precautions, maintaining that the law requiring face coverings in public places of accommodation will remain in effect. Fayetteville businesses will still be required to provide disposable face masks to those seeking entry to that business, and have the right to deny anyone who refuses. -Fayetteville Flyer

  • Additionally, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers public schools have all individually agreed to keep the mask mandate until further notice. The University of Arkansas and NWACC are also on board with this strategy.

COVID-19 vaccinations are now open for all Arkansans. Eligibility applies for those 16 and older. How do you schedule an appointment? View a map of pharmacy locations HERE. Does it cost anything? Nope!

Events

Fayetteville Greenlights 2021 Bikes, Blues & BBQ Festival

NWA Daily (Dickson Street, Fayetteville)

Start your engines! The loudest and rowdiest time of the year is headed back to Fayetteville this fall. The 2021 Bikes, Blues & BBQ event is scheduled for September 22-25 after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

  • "We are extremely thankful that we can invite folks back to experience what makes our rally so special. Not only do we have the best rides in the country, we are also a rally with a purpose." -Bikes Blues BBQ

  • If you didn't know - Bikes, Blues & BBQ is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has donated over $3,000,000 to local charities in the last 20 years. In 2019, Harley Davidson donated a motorcycle to raffle off. Those funds we were able to support all of the group's grant recipients for that year. -KNWA/Fox24

  • Million reasons why. In 2014, the Center of Business and Economics Research at the U of A conducted a study on the economic impact of BBBQ event. In conclusion they determined that, "rally attendees from outside Northwest Arkansas spent an average of $402 each during [the 2014] event. At an estimated 300,000 attendees – with over 170,000 of them from outside the region – that’s an overall economic impact of over $69 million." Fayetteville Flyer.

Ready to ride? Check out the event schedule, mapped ride routes and more HERE.

If you're a local non-profit in need of funds, you can apply to be a recipient of a grant from BBBQ HERE

Community

Fayetteville Park Amenities Reopening for Spring

NWA Daily (Walker Park, Fayetteville)

After being closed for over a year, a number of Fayetteville's park amenities will soon be reopening to the public, just in time for picnics and greenway weather.

  • You can soon take full advantage of the parks' basketball courts, restrooms and water fountains, starting this weekend (April 3), according to Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department.

  • Planning a party? Park pavilions will also reopen to the public for reservations, beginning June 1.

  • The parks department encourages everyone visiting parks and trails to continue wearing masks and following safety protocols. Not sure what they are? Visit HERE.

Community

Tyson Helping You Help Others

NWA Daily (Tyson Foods Downtown, Springdale)

Tyson Foods, United Way of NWA, and United Way of Fort Smith are all partnering for the third year to help full-time college students score paid summer internships at nonprofits.

  • The program is an eight-week, paid internship where students will be able to attend 90-minute educational sessions to build business-related skills like leadership, professionalism, critical thinking, collaboration, and interpersonal communication.

  • “We recognize that nonprofits are essential to our communities. We’re proud to partner with the United Way for a third year to give college students the chance to give back to their community and gain valuable job experience related to their field of study,” said Garrett Dolan at Tyson Foods. Talk Business & Politics

Know a student who's got what it takes? Applications for Northwest Arkansas are being accepted through April 16, and applications for Fort Smith are being accepted through March 31.

Business

Consider It Handled

Handled, a personal concierge startup that helps you move, was co-founded by local technology and software company RevUnit has been acquired by UniGroup.

  • We'll break it down for you. Handled is moving app that provides quotes, bookings, digital inventories and home services from a network of moving professionals. RevUnit is a Bentonville-based tech company that partnered with UniGroup in 2019 to provide AI and machine-learning technology. UniGroup is a Missouri-based transportation company that is part of the of United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit.

  • According to a press release, the three companies are joining forces to ramp up Handle's booking platform “to an even larger scale."

  • Given NWA's ever-growing housing market, this came just in time. “Moving is stressful enough on its own... our goal in this joint venture was to develop a digital product that eliminated the confusion and wasted time that often comes with finding and booking movers," said RevUnit co-founder and CEO Michael Paladino.

Read the full release HERE.

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