Arkansas Business

Economic Development Incentives
6:55 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Economic Development Director Says HP Will Return Some Of Incentives Package

Grant Tennille
Credit Mike Pirnique/ Arkansas Business

State Economic Development officials say Hewlett Packard no longer fulfills a benchmark that allows them to receive the same incentives established when its Conway facility opened in 2010.

Grant Tennille, director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development, told KUAR News that after laying off 500 employees, HP no longer has the 1,000 workers at its service center which was a requirement for the computer company to receive its full-incentive package from the state.

He said the state will work with HP to determine how much money needs to be returned.

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Local & Regional News
11:19 am
Mon July 1, 2013

For John Allison And Home Bancshares, Fifth Time’s The Charm

Home Bancshares chairman John Allison speaking with Roby Brock.
Credit Talk Business Arkansas

Tenacity and perseverance are two traits that successful entrepreneurs usually have in spades. Home Bancshares chairman John Allison certainly does and his bank’s acquisition last week of Jonesboro-based Liberty Bancshares for $280 million proves the point.

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Local & Regional News
9:50 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Music Icon Launches Artists’ Careers With Arkansas And Tennessee-Based Business

Al Bell, former chairman of Stax Records and former president of Motown Records, starts Arkansas-based business for rare music talent.

A new business venture in North Little Rock and Memphis seeks to change current norms in the recording industry.

Music mogul Al Bell grew up in Arkansas and later became chairman of Stax Records and president of Motown Records.

Bell says he is once again working with authentic artists who no longer fit into conventional categories

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Local & Regional News
8:02 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Survey: Midwest, Plains Economy Remains Strong

Mid-America Business Conditions Index

A new monthly survey suggests the economy remains strong in Arkansas and eight other Midwest and Plains states and business will continue to improve in the months ahead. 

The overall index for the region declined to 55.6 in June from 56.2 in May, but any score above 50 suggests growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says business leaders expect slower growth in the next few months. 

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Local & Regional News
5:10 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Home BancShares To Buy Liberty Bank for $280 Million

Wallace Fowler and Johnny Allison unveil a map showing the footprint of the two banks.
Credit press conference video feed

Home BancShares Inc. of Conway on Tuesday announced the signing of a definitive agreement worth $280 million to acquire Liberty Bancshares Inc. of Jonesboro, the largest in-state bank transaction in Arkansas history.

Under the terms of the agreement, approximately 400 shareholders of Liberty will receive $250 million of Home BancShares common stock plus $30 million in cash.

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Local & Regional News
4:59 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

More Visitors To The Rivermarket And Public Library Mean An Increased Need For Parking

Credit River Market Information

The City of Little Rock and the Central Arkansas Library System are developing a plan to build a new parking deck on Riverfront Park. With between 3,000 and 4,000 people visiting the library per day, more parking space is needed.

The project is still in the early stages, but has already received some pushback. The main concern is that the structure would obscure riverfront land. 

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Local & Regional News
7:57 am
Mon June 17, 2013

$4M Expansion Underway At Van Buren Plant

A food service company that has been in western Arkansas for 70 years is embarking on a $4 million expansion at a Van Buren facility.

Tankersley Foodservice Inc. is adding cold storage and dock space to the site at the Van Buren Industrial Park.

The company says the project also includes expansion and improvement to customer service offices.

The Southwest Times Record reports the growth is expected to add up to 30 jobs.

Local & Regional News
7:10 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Founder Of USA Drug Dies At Home In Pine Bluff

The founder of USA Drug has died at his home in Pine Bluff.

Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that 71-year-old Stephen LaFrance Sr. died Wednesday. Kelley said the death was due to natural causes.

LaFrance formed USA Drug in 1968 and his company owned 144 stores in seven states when he sold it to Walgreen's in a $438 million deal last July. The company's stores operated under the names of USA Drug, Super D Drug, May's Drug, Med-X and Drug Warehouse in Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Local & Regional News
11:32 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Arkansas Foodies Get Free Meals On National Burger Day

Burgers

With Memorial Day over, many Arkansans have put their grills away. However, two Back Yard Burger restaurants in central Arkansas are offering a special meal deal to customers Tuesday in honor of National Burger Day.

Elyse Hammett works with the Back Yard Burger chain in Arkansas. She says Burger Day began in Michigan in the 1930s and later became an annual event enjoyed by foodies nationwide.

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Economic Development
6:22 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

West Memphis Gets $11M Grant For Port

West Memphis is to receive a $10.9 million grant to expand the city's port.

The grant from the U.S. Transportation Department announced Wednesday will go toward rail improvements. The work will enable the port to handle more freight.

The Transportation Department says the project will not only help the port but will spur other business activity by stimulating more trade.

The expansion is also expected to attract development in West Memphis, which will create more jobs. The expansion will dramatically expand the port's railcar capacity.

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