Arkansas Economy

Local & Regional News
3:46 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Deadline Nears For Drought Disaster Loan Applications

The U.S. Small Business Administration says the deadline is nearing for small, nonfarm business in 16 Arkansas counties and neighboring parishes and counties in Louisiana and Mississippi affected by drought to apply for disaster loans.

The deadline is Sept. 15 to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The loans are available to small, nonfarm businesses that are dependent on farmers and ranchers who suffered losses due to the drought that began Oct. 1, 2013.

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Local & Regional News
3:16 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. House Majority Leader Lends Voice In Arkansas Congressional Races

Pipe Intended For Keystone XL In Little Rock
Jacob Kauffman KUAR

A slate of national Republican figures continues to campaign this week on behalf of Arkansas GOP candidates. Speaking in Little Rock Wednesday recently promoted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) lent support to 2nd Congressional nominee French Hill amid a field of pipe sitting idle, awaiting a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.  

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Local & Regional News
10:03 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Arkansas Jobless Rate Drops To National Average But Labor Force Shrinking

Unemployment Rate For Arkansas and US Since 2008
Credit arkansaseconomist.com

Unemployment numbers released Monday show July as another month with an improving jobless rate in Arkansas dropping one-tenth of a percent to the national average of 6.2 percent.

Michael Pakko, the senior economist at UALR’s Institute for Economic Advancement, said the report shows both good and troubling news.

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Local & Regional News
3:37 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Minimum Wage Petitioners Confident In Signatures

Steve Copley of Give Arkansas a Raise Now and the Arkansas Interfaith Alliance.
Credit AETN

Signature gatherers with the non-profit coalition Give Arkansas a Raise Now say they believe they have plenty of valid signatures to get their measure on the ballot this fall. The group seeks to raise the state minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour by 2017.

Last month, the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office gave the group 30 days to collect 15,107 additional valid signatures to reach the requisite 62,507 by next Monday, August 18th. Steve Copley, chairman of the organization, says they’ve since collected nearly 60,000 additional signatures thus far.

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Local & Regional News
2:27 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Poultry Plant In Warren To Open, Creating 100 New Jobs

State economic development officials say a newly formed company will open a poultry plant in south Arkansas, creating 100 jobs.

The Arkansas Department of Economic Development says Blue Rooster is finalizing plans to open a poultry deboning operation in Warren. The facility was formerly home to H&L Poultry and work is now underway to get the plant ready for production in October.

Officials say people interested in working at the plant can pick up an application at the Old Warren National Guard Armory beginning Monday.

Local & Regional News
2:31 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Study: Hot Springs Visitors Spent $523 Million In 2013

A study by a tourism research company shows visitors to Hot Springs spent more than $520 million last year.

The Sentinel-Record reports senior vice president Michael Erdman of Longwoods International presented the company's report Monday at the Hot Springs Convention Center. About 4.9 million trips were taken to Hot Springs in 2013. That includes 2 million overnight trips and 2.9 million day trips.

Erdman says overnight visitors spent money in lodging and food, while daytime tourists use money for shopping.

Local & Regional News
7:41 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Nucor Steel Files Another Objection to Big River Steel in NE Arkansas

Hearing On Big River Steel In State Senate Chamber 2013
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Nucor Steel has filed a lawsuit in federal court that attempts to block a competitor from opening a mill in Mississippi County.

Nucor sued Big River Steel on Monday in Jonesboro. Big River is planning a $1.3 billion steel mill south of Osceola that would employ more than 500 workers.

Nucor accuses Big River of violating the federal Clean Air Act in the lawsuit. Nucor operates two steel mills outside of Blytheville and says pollutants from the Big River mill would negatively affect its workers productivity.

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Local & Regional News
6:58 am
Fri August 8, 2014

ADEQ Sets Meetings On Air Pollution Controls

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
Credit uark.edu

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has set a meeting to present the results of a recent statewide modeling analysis for air pollutants The Aug. 20 presentation at the agency's North Little Rock office is open to the public.

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Local & Regional News
4:52 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Arkansas Consumer Spending Continues To Grow, Says Study

A new report by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that total consumer spending in Arkansas continues to lag behind much of the nation. The rate of growth in consumer spending, meanwhile, is keeping pace with the rest of the country, notes Michael Pakko, senior economic forecaster for the state of Arkansas.

He says the new state-by-state data gives a more localized picture of the economy over fifteen years (from 1997-2012), including the recovery from the most recent recession.

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Local & Regional News
10:41 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Arkansas Starts Fiscal Year Below Forecast

Arkansas finance officials say sluggish corporate and sales tax collections pushed the state's revenue below forecast and the same month last year as it began the fiscal year.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration on Monday said the state's net available revenue totaled $403.1 million, which is $7.1 million below the same month last year and $9.8 million below forecast. Arkansas' fiscal year began July 1.

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