Arkansas Business

The second quarter economic story of Arkansas’ four key metro areas was much like the first quarter story: unchanged from the previous quarter, but healthy, with continued job gains and sales tax revenue growth, according to The Compass Report.

Compared to the second quarter of 2015, economic conditions were down slightly in Central Arkansas, better in Northwest Arkansas, unchanged in the Fort Smith metro, and up in the Jonesboro metro.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's law school has received a $1 million grant to create the state's first business innovation clinic. 

The grant from the Arkansas Attorney General's Office was announced Friday for UALR's William H. Bowen School of Law. The new clinic will focus on providing business law advice and services to small businesses, nonprofit organizations and others. 

Wal-Mart says it plans to slow new store openings as it looks to pour more money into its online efforts, technology and store remodels.

Shares of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain fell slightly in Thursday premarket trading.

Wal-Mart closed on its more than $3 billion buyout of Jet.com last month, showing how heavily it's willing to invest as it tries to boost online sales that totaled $13.7 billion last year - still just a fraction of the company's annual revenue.

Tyson
Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods Inc. has agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle federal allegations of hiring discrimination at six plants in Arkansas, New Mexico and Texas.

The U.S. Labor Department announced the settlement Tuesday after previously alleging the Springdale, Arkansas-based company's hiring processes and selection procedures at the six plants discriminated on the basis of sex, race or ethnicity.

Hunting and fishing giant Bass Pro Shops is acquiring competitor Cabela’s Inc. for $5.5 billion in an all cash deal that will combine the two iconic American retailers with loyal outdoor-oriented customer bases across the American South, West and Midwest.

In an announcement after the opening of the New York Stock Exchange, privately-held Bass Pro and publicly traded Cabela announced they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela’s for $65.50 per share in cash, a 19.2% premium over Friday’s closing price of $54.93.

Two manufacturers in Little Rock have announced plans for a $6.4 million expansion that will create 43 new jobs.

G.C. Evans Sales and Manufacturing and Sleeve Seal announced the expansion Monday. The two companies are now based in a facility on south Woodrow Street but will move all operations to a site in south Little Rock as part of the expansion.

G.C. Evans makes packaging and processing equipment for the food, bottling and pharmaceutical industries, while Sleeve Seal supplies high-speed labeling equipment and shrink labels for the packaging industry.

Arkansas Businesses Ready To Trade With Cuba As Restrictions Lifted

Sep 22, 2016
Cuba
Jorge Royan / Wikimedia Commons

Candlemaker Burt Hanna, rice and grain operators and even an oil importer in Arkansas are ready to do business with Cuba, held back only by an embargo rendered 56 years ago that has only served to help impoverish a neighboring nation, according to Melvin Torres.

Loreal
clintonfoundation.org

Cosmetics maker L'Oreal USA is building thousands of solar panels at manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Arkansas, a move the company says will help cut carbon emissions and create two of the biggest solar-powered projects in each state.

The subsidiary of the L'Oreal Group said Tuesday it plans to install 5,000 solar panels at its Florence, Kentucky, plant and another 4,000 at its North Little Rock, Arkansas, plant, with both projects expected to be operational by the middle of next year.

A subsidiary of American Airlines has announced plans to establish a new aircraft maintenance facility at Little Rock's airport, a move that is expected to create 60 new jobs over five years.

Envoy Air Inc. announced plans Tuesday for the new facility at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock. The new facility will provide scheduled overnight maintenance for Envoy's 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft as well as line maintenance for the 15 daily American Eagle flights at the Little Rock airport.

David Monteith / KUAR

Low-wage workers and local leaders are continuing to push for an increase to the minimum wage in Arkansas.

Local protests for a $15 an hour minimum wage were first seen in late 2014 outside fast food restaurants in central Arkansas. Those efforts were part of a nationwide movement known as Fight for 15.

In this election year organizers took their protest to the steps of the state Capitol. Jay Harris, a member of Fight for 15, said there are many reasons for supporting an increased minimum wage.

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