Arkansas Economy

Local & Regional News
11:58 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Arkansas Home Sales On The Rise In April

New findings out this week show home sales are on the rise throughout Arkansas.

Officials with the Arkansas Realtors Association say there was a 16 percent increase in the number of homes sold in the state in April, when compared to the same month a year ago.

Additionally, the average price of homes sold in April 2013 increased by over three percent. 

After surveying 43 counties, the Association discovered the average price of homes sold increased from $153,591 in April 2012 to $158,887 in April 2013.

Read more
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.

Arkansas Exports
6:14 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

4 Arkansas Companies Honored For Global Trade

Gov. Mike Beebe is honoring four Arkansas companies for their leadership in exporting goods and services throughout the world.

Beebe presented the Governor's Award for Excellence in Global Trade during an awards luncheon Wednesday in Little Rock. Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc. was honored in the agribusiness category.

Conway Machine Inc. received the award for small manufacturers. The company was created in 1972 and produces after-market parts for die cutters.

Read more
Public Service In Helena-West Helena
7:18 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Hope Rising In Helena-West Helena, Arkansas: Part Three

Gracie Gonner at her office in the Family Center.
Malcolm Glover KUAR

Communities throughout the Arkansas Delta often battle against a rising tide of economic woes. As factories close and labor-intensive jobs leave small towns, populations dwindle in many rural cities.

For decades, outside investments from banks and charitable organizations helped stimulate marginal growth, but most of the heavy lifting necessary to revitalize communities must be done by the people who live there.

In downtown Helena, a building that was once a post office is now a hub for various programs that provide important services to women and families.

Read more
History & Culture In Helena-West Helena
7:04 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Hope Rising In Helena-West Helena, Arkansas: Part Two

The Delta Cultural Center on Cherry Street in downtown Helena.
Malcolm Glover KUAR

Helena-West Helena is part of Phillips County in the Arkansas Delta. According to U.S. Census data, the county’s population decreased over 17 percent in the last ten years, which means by some estimates the population is less than half of what it was in the 1950s. However, new community-led efforts in Helena-West Helena seek to make the area’s history and culture a catalyst for investment and growth.

Read more
Local & Regional News
5:35 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Next Step Is Signatures For Arkansas Steel Plant

The $1.1 billion Big River Steel mill that's planned for Osceola could be under construction later this year, but a number of things have to happen before dirt can be turned for the superproject. 

The plant is awaiting rulings from two state regulators and it still must get signatures from financial backers and state officials before work can start.

Read more
Technology Park
9:43 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Little Rock Tech Park Board To Pause Site Selection, Review Purpose

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board decided at its May meeting to meet again in two weeks to discuss the tech park's purpose and which types of businesses might take advantage of it.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board is putting off selection of a site for the city’s tech park in order to discuss the specific types of research businesses that might be attracted to it.

The main topic of discussion for the Little Rock Tech Park Board has focused on site selection, but at its meeting Wednesday, members began delving into the basic purpose for the park and whether they need to consider two sites rather than one.

Read more
Economic Development
2:29 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Power Transmission Company To Create 50 New Jobs In Little Rock

MISO company officials (left), Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, Governor Beebe and Public Service Commission Chairman Colette Honorable joined MISO president and CEO John Bear in announcing that the power transmission company would be bringing up to 50 high paying jobs to the city in the next 12 to 18 months.
Credit Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

A power transmission company says it will locate a regional hub in Little Rock, a move that company officials say will bring between 30 and 50 high paying jobs to the state in the near future.

Governor Mike Beebe and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola joined state economic development officials as well as representatives from Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator, or MISO, at the state Capitol to announce the new jobs.

MISO handles power transmitted on the nation’s electric grid and Beebe said the mostly-high tech jobs would pay an average of $85,000 a year.

Read more
Community Development In Helena-West Helena
7:01 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Hope Rising In Helena-West Helena, Arkansas: Part One

Tommie Gause at Freedom Park in Helena-West Helena.
Malcolm Glover KUAR

The City of Helena-West Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas is no stranger to the hardships that have plagued many communities across the country during the economic downturn.

High unemployment, a struggling education system, political upheaval, a crumbling infrastructure, and even unresolved racial inequalities were once the hallmarks of this unified city in the impoverished Arkansas Delta. However, new research findings show some positive demographic trends and community development projects have some residents saying Helen-West Helena is finally making a comeback.

Read more
Local & Regional News
11:53 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Top Political Leaders Debate Best Ways To Help The Delta

Former President Bill Clinton speaking to the Delta Grassroots Caucus Thursday night in Little Rock.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Many of the state’s top political leaders – and those aspiring for office – are taking part in a conference considering the best ways to revive the poverty-stricken Delta region.

The two-day Delta Grassroots Caucus started Thursday night with participants hearing from the Republican candidates for Arkansas governor, a freshman congressman and former President Bill Clinton.

“For the first time, literally in a generation, the larger demographic and other forces that are working on the world will help the Delta region,” Clinton said.

Read more

Pages