Arkansas Business

Mike Preston
Talk Business & Politics

Fresh off his 8-day trip to Japan and China, AEDC executive director Mike Preston said the announcement of a $1.36 billion agreement with Sun Paper Co. will not likely result in the need for a legislative “superproject” special session.

“I think we have a very aggressive incentive package on the table,” Preston said. “There’s still some negotiations to go, but I don’t think we’ll have to go to the legislature.”

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority agreed on Tuesday to make a $1,037,000 counter offer to attorney Richard Mays to purchase his firm’s downtown office Tuesday, opening the door for the publicly-financed authority to move forward with the first phase of a tech park to boost entrepreneurship.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has signed a “letter of intent on investment cooperation” with Chinese-based Shandong Sun Paper Industry Joint Stock Co. to pursue a $1.3 billion pulp mill to be located in south Arkansas.

In attendance at the signing ceremony were U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Gov. Hutchinson, Chairman and Founder of Sun Paper Co. Hongxin Li, Arkansas Economic Development Director Mike Preston, and U.S. Consulate General Charles Bennett.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson is calling on two northeast Arkansas community education centers to merge. The Governor spoke Thursday at the state Chamber of Commerce's 87th annual meeting. Hutchinson says two education centers in Forrest City—East Arkansas Community College and Crowley's Ridge Technical Insitute—would serve students better if the two centers became one.

 

Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs.
wikipedia.org

Little Rock-based Bank of the Ozarks – fresh off last month’s $800 million acquisition of Atlanta’s Community & Southern Holdings – will acquire St. Petersburg, Fla.-based C1 Financial, Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at $402.5 million.

healthcare accelerator warwick sabin troy wells asa hutchinson
KATV, Channel 7 News

A joint effort by Baptist Health and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub has been formed to accelerate the development of up to 10 health care-related startup companies.

Arkansas’s unemployment rate  dropped to 5.2 percent in September according to the state's Department of Workforce Services. 

There were 2,500 fewer unemployed Arkansans in September. 1,400 workers left the job market and 1,100 new workers found employment. 

"The size of the civilian labor force declined slightly, as the decrease in the number of unemployed more than offset the gain in employment," Susan Price from the department explained in a statement. 

Windstream Corp. announced Monday it has entered into a definitive agreement with TierPoint of St. Louis to sell the Little Rock telecom’s data center business in an all cash deal worth $575 million.

Former Arkansas Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller (R) joins William Dillard II, Dr. George Mitchell and Patricia Upton to be inducted into the 2016 class of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. The four join 70 men and women in the Hall of Fame, with the induction ceremony set for Feb. 12, 2016.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame Board announced on Wednesday (Oct. 14) the inductees.

news.walmart.com

Walmart Stores, Inc. has laid off 450 workers at its headquarters as the world's largest retailer attempts to become more nimble to compete with the likes of Amazon.com.

There are more than 18,000 people who work at the headquarters Bentonville, Arkansas. The cuts were across all areas, from finance to global e-commerce. The company says that the employees were spoken to individually early on Friday.

The announcement follows months of rumors about headquarters cuts and arrived a month and a half after Walmart trimmed its annual earnings outlook as profits fell.

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