Arkansas Economy

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.

Big Data In Arkansas
1:49 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Acxiom CEO Wants Tighter Regulations On Data Industry

Acxiom Corporation's headquarters in Little Rock.
Credit Adam Bartlett /

The CEO of Little Rock-based Acxiom Corporation says he supports stronger regulations on companies that collect, analyze and market consumer data. In a presentation to investors associated with Delta Trust and Bank last week, CEO Scott Howe said data collected on consumers should be limited to marketing only. He said people should also have the right to deny access to companies that want to collect their personal data.

Read more
Local & Regional News
6:08 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

County Judge Sees Arkansas Mill Work By Mid-June


The Mississippi County judge says he expects construction to begin by mid-June on a $1.1 billion steel mill near Osceola.

An administrative law judge last week cleared a hurdle for the plant, and County Judge Randy Carney told the Jonesboro Sun on Sunday that he expects hiring to begin in May.

Big River Steel plans to hire up to 600 people for the plant, though about 2,000 workers will be used during construction.

Read more
Labor & The Economy
1:50 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Arkansas Unemployment Down, Still Higher Than Nation

Figures released by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services Monday show an increase in the number of workers who’ve found a job. The unemployment rate dropped a tenth of one percent to 7.3 percent in January, compared to December. It’s also two-tenths of a percent lower from the same time last year.

Dr. Michael Pakko with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Institute for Economic Advancement says overall the numbers show positive trends in the state’s economy.

Read more
Local & Regional News
4:34 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Gas Prices Going Back Up In Arkansas

Just a few months after gas prices in Arkansas dropped below $3 a gallon, they’re back on the rise.

Regular unleaded gasoline reached a state average of $3.23 per gallon as of Tuesday, up six cents since last week.

“We’ve seen crude oil prices ratchet up in recent days and that’s driven up wholesale gasoline prices,” said Mike Right of Triple-A Auto Club, “and it’s not unusual to see that prices rise this time of year. In fact, last year at this time we were paying $3.64 a gallon.”

Read more
Local & Regional News
12:22 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Mayor: Osceola Lands Another New Manufacturer, Creates 75 Jobs

Officials in Osceola say a new manufacturer will build a $33 million facility and create 75 jobs in the Mississippi County town.

Mayor Dickie Kennemore says Blue Oak Resources will start building its facility next month in Osceola. The company, based in Burlingame, Calif., removes precious metals from electronics that are being recycled.

Kennemore says the new facility will be built on a 30-acre plot near the American Greetings factory in Osceola.

Local & Regional News
3:44 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Helena To Undergo Economic Development

A store in downtown Helena
Credit Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Thursday marks the kick-off for the Riverside Renewal Project in Helena, Arkansas.

Southern Bancorp and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are partnering to revitalize downtown Helena by matching investments to eligible commercial or residential development projects up to $100,000.

Read more
Local & Regional News
4:00 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Arkansas Business, Farm & Faith Leaders Call For Immigration Reform

Leaders from Arkansas’s business, agriculture and faith communities are responding to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal for an incremental approach to immigration reform with renewed calls to pass some meaningful legislation. Representatives from the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Farm Bureau spoke in a conference call with reporters

Read more