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Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Arkansas commissioners meet in Fort Smith to discuss COVID-19 impact on state economy

Arkansas Economic Development Commission met in person in Fort Smith for the first time since the pandemic began to discuss moving the economy forward post COVID-19.

FORT SMITH, Arkansas — On Thursday (May 13), the Arkansas Economic Development Commission met in person in Fort Smith for the first time since the pandemic began.

Inside the Chamber of Commerce, representatives from all over the state are discussing plans for moving forward as COVID-19 affects our state's economy.

16 commissioners from around the state met. Some were local and others came from as far as Paragould and Pine bluff.

Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said the two main topics in Thursday's meeting are how the state is handling unemployment and the new stimulus package.

“It’s about getting people back to work and the challenges we have run into as a state as we are seeing our economy open back," said Preston. "The other topic will be focusing on the new stimulus package. The governor assigned a task force to see how we’d spend 1.6 billion dollars."

Once the meeting ends, all commissioners are going to visit the U.S. Marshall’s Museum in Fort Smith. 

More information will be available on your 5NEWS at 4:00 p.m.

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