Connect Arkansas Unveils Small Business Initiative

Nov 18, 2014

Connect Arkansas said it is conducting a statewide study among small- and medium-sized businesses to develop strategies to help those companies capitalize on the digital economy.

The project is a collaboration between Connect Arkansas, its parent company, Arkansas Capital Corp. Group, and broadband research firm Strategic Networks Group. Businesses with less than 100 employees are invited to participate.

Participating businesses will be provided with insights and published materials from broadband utilization experts at SNG, as well as be eligible for further assistance in 2015, according to a Connect Arkansas press release.

Connect Arkansas also said it would be testing a program in Vilonia and Mayflower that aims to boost small business growth in those towns. The two communities were hit hard by tornadoes and have suffered from the Pegasus pipeline oil spill in the last two years. The pilot program will allow certain businesses to work with SNG to explore revenue opportunities and cost savings through analysis and research.

“We’ve found that small businesses across North America are typically slow to adopt Internet applications,” said Doug Adams, vice president of communications for SNG. “Research in more than 10 states shows us time and again that small businesses either don’t understand how Internet applications are relevant to their business or lack the will to take the time to deploy them. We are thrilled to be able to provide Arkansas and specific communities the tools to understand how Internet practices can help them compete and thrive in today’s economy.” “We see this program as being incredibly beneficial for our local businesses,” said Sam Walls III, president of Connect Arkansas.

“We will be able to uncover where businesses are today with regards to capitalizing on the Internet’s potential and develop strategies for our businesses to be more competitive. The additional opportunity to help Vilonia and Mayflower recover from some natural disaster setbacks makes this an even more exciting undertaking.”