Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Community Development

Connecting Communities for Economic Growth and Prosperity

Communities must be ready to take advantage of economic development opportunities. At the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, our regional managers provide Arkansas communities with tools that help them to excel at all facets of economic development.  This includes strategic planning, product development, marketing, business retention and expansion, and business development.

Kevin Sexton

Senior Community Developer, Central Arkansas
501-682-7325
501-682-7499
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Assistance Across Arkansas

Regional managers offer a variety of services around the state, by collaborating with regional economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, local economic development organizations, and local elected officials.  Regional managers help to build regional and local capacity making the State of Arkansas a thriving environment for citizens and businesses.

 

 

Programs
Building and Site Inventory

Entergy Arkansas, Inc., in cooperation with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, provides a free web-based site selection center to assist in the recruitment and expansion of business in Arkansas. 

The Arkansas Site Selection Center (ARSSC) features interactive maps, a database of buildings and sites and detailed, up-to-date demographics. These elements allow economic developers, site selection consultants and businesses to conveniently analyze and evaluate potential sites and communities. Economic development entities, such as the AEDC and local communities, can customize and use the ARSSC in conjunction with their existing websites.

Buildings and Sites Database
Community and County Profiles
Geospatial Data Download Center

Arkansas Site Selection Center Policies:

  • Local economic developers are the only property managers allowed to upload properties to the ARSSC.
  • The local economic developer must be the primary contact on any property they enter into the site.
  • Realtors cannot upload properties, but should work with their local economic developer to enter properties.
  • Only commercial, office, and industrial properties are accepted. 
  • Sites must have at least 10 acres to be listed. 
  • Buildings must have at least 10,000 square feet to be listed.
  • All properties must have a sale or lease price to be listed.
Business Retention and Expansion

Studies show that up to 80 percent of all new jobs are created by existing companies. A successful business retention and expansion strategy serves the key purposes of demonstrating to existing firms that the community appreciates their contribution to the local economy, encourages expansion that leads to sustainable job growth, helps businesses solve their problems and challenges and assists local businesses in gaining awareness of available resources. 

Community Development's Regional Managers are ready to help implement effective business retention and expansion tools and strategies and ensure communities are familiar with the variety of resources available to help existing companies stay strong and grow.

Community Presentations

Regional Managers are available to speak to civic and community groups on economic, community and leadership development. To schedule a presentation, please contact the Community Development division at (501) 682-7329.

Elected Officials Orientation

Elected Officials Orientation provides an overview of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and provides officials with the following resources: 

  • Community Development Resource Guide
  • Community Development Work Area Map
  • Arkansas Site Selection Center (ARSSC) roles and responsibilities of property managers, community editors, and economic development contacts.
Prospect Readiness Education Program (PREP)

Prospect Readiness Education Program (PREP) is designed to offer communities hands-on training in all aspects of the economic development prospect visit.

PREP provides the local economic development team with training and resources to properly prepare for, execute, and follow-up on prospect visits to their respective community.

The following communities have completed PREP training and received certification: Arkadelphia, Batesville, Carlisle, Clarksville, Fayetteville, Fordyce, Forrest City, El Dorado,  Harrison, Jacksonville, Lake Village, Magnolia, Mena, Morrilton, Ozark, Prescott and Warren.

Regional Partnerships

Regional economic development partnerships are crucial to rural Arkansas. These partnerships create the momentum and critical mass necessary to enhance a community's attractiveness to prospective companies. By coming together, regions can collectively utilize assets to address any workforce needs a company will have and can combine financial resources to create local economic development incentives.

AEDC's Regional Managers help communities discover and utilize the assets already in place within their respective communities and regions. Assets such as an available and adequately trained workforce, proper infrastructure and appropriate facilities help make Arkansas's communities attractive to companies looking to relocate or expand.

Regional Managers work with existing regional partnerships to develop regional strategic plans and assist with their implementation. They also are available to help communities form new partnerships within their region.

Site Development

The purpose of site development training is to provide the skills for a community to create a quality product. The size, type and location of a community's site should be determined by the community's strategic plan, evaluation of the zoning ordinances, growth and traffic patterns in conjunction with technical assistance from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.