Arkansas Economy

Food Distributor To Build New Regional Headquarters, Add Jobs

Apr 30, 2015

A project that was first announced in December 2013 is finally shovel-ready.

Food distributor Ben E. Keith Company will break ground Thursday at 11 a.m. on its new North Little Rock distribution center.

The 72-acre site should begin construction in July 2015, according to the company. It should be completed by the spring of 2017.

When it was first announced, the project was slated to be a $60 million, 300,000 sq. ft. investment that will add 74 jobs.

Gov. Hutchinson Calls Strong U.S. Manufacturing Base A ‘National Security’ Issue

Apr 29, 2015
Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson kicked off the first Arkansas Manufacturing Innovation Summit on Wednesday by saying that strengthening the nation’s manufacturing was a “national security” issue, and strongly advocating that former felons should be given an opportunity to re-enter the workforce after leaving prison.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Amidst a backdrop described by several podium speakers as a religious revival, Central Arkansas’ startup community held a celebration on Monday to announce a major grant that will spark more activity in the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Winrock International CEO Rodney Ferguson stepped to the stage and said, “I’m not a Baptist preacher, but it sure feels like a revival here today.”

Lockheed Martin Profits Off 6%, Defense Giant Sees Huge Sales Loss At Camden Operation

Apr 21, 2015

Profits for defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. fell nearly 6% in the first quarter as the company’s Missile and Fire Control (MFC) division loss ground in the first three months of fiscal 2015 due to continued cuts in defense spending by the Pentagon.

Little Rock Officials Unveil ‘Creative Corridor’ Logo

Apr 21, 2015

Little Rock city officials on Tuesday unveiled a logo and social media sites for the fast-growing Main Street Creative Corridor, part of an official master plan to transform the downtown area into an urban mixed-use, cultural and arts enclave.

City officials said the logo was selected by art groups who will eventually relocate to Main Street, in collaboration with representatives from the city. The new logo will be used on all promotional materials for the Creative Corridor.

The unemployment rate in Arkansas remained flat at 5.6 percent in March according to information released Tuesday by the state Department of Workforce Services. The rate is the same as a revised jobless rate for February.

Spokeswoman Becky Heflin said it’s not unusual to have unemployment numbers hold steady.

It flew under the radar for the most part, but a significant piece of legislation may make Arkansas a much easier place to start or run a business, Talk Business & Politics reports.

Act 1190, co-sponsored by Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Sen. Eddie Joe Williams, allows the Secretary of State’s office to create a portal for businesses to submit licenses, permits and applications through one interface.

Governor Asa Hutchinson Gov
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The city of Caraway could one day become a “computer mecca,” with students learning the skills of computer coding and computer science, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday.

Hutchinson, who attended the groundbreaking of Riverside East Elementary School, spoke to the nearly 300 people in attendance about education and the opportunity it gives.

Port Authority Board of Directors Chairman Christopher Mathews.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Little Rock Port Authority decided Wednesday it will formally weigh-in on the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma’s attempt to turn 160 acres near the Arkansas River into trust land. That status would exempt it from local and state control and be the first designation of its kind in Arkansas.

Arcbest Corp.

ArcBest Corporation is set to break ground in the company's new corporate headquarters at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is to attend the ceremony scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

ArcBest is a freight transportation and logistics company formerly known as Arkansas Best Corporation. Its companies include ABF Freight, ABF Logistics, Panther Premium Logistics, FleetNet America, U-Pack and ArcBest Technologies.

ArcBest President and CEO Judy McReynolds says the new headquarters is expected to result in 975 new jobs in Fort Smith through 2021.