Arkansas Economy

Local & Regional News
6:09 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Annual Survey Of 75 Largest Private Arkansas Companies Shows Growth

Credit Arkansas Business

Arkansas Business released its annual survey of the 75 largest private companies in the state in this week's issue, finding improving revenues and that many companies are making expensions.

Four new companies qualified to make the list: Summerwood Partners, Ritter & Co., Douglas Cos. and ABC Financial.

The 75 largest private companies in Arkansas generated total revenue — self-reported and estimated — of $31.15 billion in their most recent fiscal years, and the price of entry to the list was $88.8 million.

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River Navigation
1:47 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Arkansas Waterways To Get Boost From Federal Water Legislation

A map of ports in Arkansas
Credit waterways.arkansas.gov

Now that Congress has overwhelmingly passed a water resources bill, which awaits President Obama’s signature, officials who oversee Arkansas’s navigable waterways say infrastructure along the state’s rivers will likely benefit. All members of the state’s congressional delegation supported the legislation.

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Local & Regional News
9:15 am
Fri May 23, 2014

$2.9 Million In Grants For 5 Arkansas Airports

Three members of the Arkansas congressional delegation say five airports in the state will share in $2.9 million in federal grants.

Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman and Rep. Tim Griffin announced Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration is awarding the grants for airport facility upgrades and improvements.

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Local & Regional News
1:40 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Arkansas Unemployment Rate Drops In April To 6.6 Percent

The unemployment rate in Arkansas fell by three-tenths of one percent in April - down from 6.9 percent in March to 6.6 percent.

Arkansas' Department of Workforce Services said Friday that the civilian labor force decreased by 8,300 because of 5,100 fewer people unemployed and 3,200 fewer workers.

Department spokeswoman Becky Heflin said in a news release that the number of Arkansans without a job in April stood at 86,700 - a decline of 12,300 in the number of unemployed from the 99,000 who were jobless in April 2013.

Local & Regional News
6:10 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Saline And Craighead Counties Collect Signatures To Go Wet

Credit drugfree.org

A committee called "Our Community, Our Dollars" is collecting signatures to make Saline County in central Arkansas and Craighead County in northeast Arkansas wet counties.

Starting this week through early July, residents in the two counties can sign a petition to allow the sale of alcohol.

Jay Allen, president of the organization that began the petition drive, said this would give voters a chance to voice their opinions.

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Local & Regional News
1:56 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Osceola Approves Revenue Bonds For Steel Mill

The Osceola City Council has unanimously approved the issuance of $1.5 billion in industrial revenue bonds for the planned Big River Steel mill.

The council approved the ordinance Monday night. Under the agreement, the city will take the title for the property then lease it back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.

According to the Blytheville Courier News, the agreement also calls for Big River Steel to pay 35 percent of regular millage taxes to the city annually for 20 years.

Local & Regional News
9:13 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Arkansas County Unveils Roadmap For Revitalization

Mississippi County officials have unveiled a community revitalization plan that sets goals for the next 10 years in the areas of economic development, education, housing, and health and wellness, among others.

The county's first Delta Bridge Project Strategic Plan comes after a year of discussions between public and private officials and organizations.

The Delta Bridge Project - funded by the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation and Southern Bancorp- is a community-led plan for revitalizing the county's social and economic areas.

Local & Regional News
1:09 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Arkansas Panel Approves Steel Mill Air Permit

An environmental regulatory panel has issued an air quality permit for a planned $1.2 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas.

The Pollution Control and Ecology Commission approved the permit Friday for Big River Steel. Company CEO John Correnti says the commission's action opens the way for the mill to be financed and for construction to start.

Correnti says the site will have a peak of 2,000 construction workers over the two years it will take to build the site. The mill itself will have 545 employees.

Local & Regional News
9:02 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Osceola Sets Meeting On Big River Steel Bonds

The Osceola City Council has scheduled a meeting to discuss issuing $1.5 billion of economic development bonds for the Big River Steel mill.

Mayor Dickie Kennemore says the council will meet May 5 to discuss issuing $1.5 billion in Act 9 bonds for the project. Kennemore tells The Jonesboro Sun that the city would not be liable in any way for the bonds.

Under the proposal, the steel mill would be owned by the city of Osceola and leased back to Big River Steel for $1 a year.

Local & Regional News
9:03 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Gov. Beebe To Join In Ceremony For Block Grants

Governor Mike Beebe is to join Arkansas Economic Development Commission officials and local leaders to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant program.

The program was created by Congress in 1974 and has since provided more than $700 million to Arkansas communities for projects such as community centers, street repair, wastewater systems, local museums, homeless shelters, childcare facilities and libraries.

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