Community Development

Community Development

The Community Development Division of AEDC provides a variety of resources and services for economic prosperity, growth management, and customized community development assistance. We assist communities by connecting them to state and federal resources. Please contact one of our local Community Development Regional Managers for more information on the following services.


Community Development and Economic Development

Communities must be ready to take advantage of economic development opportunities. To that end, our Regional Managers are connecting Arkansas communities to resources that can help them create and implement solid strategic plans, address issues regarding leadership and economic development, improve education issues, identify infrastructure needs, and act as a liaison to other state and federal services.

Community Investment and Assistance

  • CDBG
  • USDA
  • Rural Services
  • PDDs

Business Attraction

When a new, out-of-state business locates in Arkansas, it can provide a real boost to the community and the region. The Community Development Division can help communities learn how to submit an effective and professional response to an RFP for a company looking for an new location.

Business Retention and Expansion

Studies show that up to 80 percent of all new jobs are created by existing companies. Community Development’s Regional Managers are ready to help communities understand and 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.

Regional Economic Development Partnership Assistance and Development

Regional economic development partnerships are crucial to rural Arkansas. These partnerships create the momentum and critical mass necessary to get a company to consider locating in a region. AEDC’s Community Development Regional Managers encourage existing regional partnerships and assist new partnerships to form, which gives rural regions a competitive edge.


AEDC’s Community Developers help communities discover and utilize the assets already in place within their respective communities and regions. Things such as available and adequately trained workforce, proper infrastructure, and appropriate facilities help make Arkansas’s communities attractive to companies looking to relocate or expand. AEDC works with communities by collaborating with local professionals, visiting with existing industries, and consulting with higher education entities to identify industries that are a good fit for each respective community.

For a list of Arkansas's targeted business sectors, click here.


Communities must market themselves and those without a strong web presence in economic development are neglecting a vital component of any marketing strategy. At a minimum, sound economic development websites must include complete and accurate listings of all available buildings and sites, contact information for economic development professionals, and information on the infrastructure capabilities of specific locations.

Fifty-five percent of site selection consultants/corporate planners start the information gathering process one to two years BEFORE the location decision is made and about three to six months BEFORE making first contact with a location of interest. If your community does not have a strong web presence, you are missing out.

Arkansas Site Selection Center is the state's comprehensive database of available property, both buildings and sites. Local communities are encouraged to catalog all property that meets the state's requirements (Buildings: 10,000 square feet or larger; Sites: 10 acres or more) on this website. Communities are also encouraged to keep their community profiles up to date through this web resource. For more information about how to add available property to this database, please contact your Community Developer.


Effective partnerships are the foundation for any successful economic development strategy. These partnerships work best when groups come together to share resources, ideas, and accountability. As communities and regions work through the strategic planning process, they should consider all the available resources - Federal, State, and regional - that can assist when implementing these goals.

The Community Development Consultants partner with other agencies to address issues that affect Arkansas communities. These agencies can provide technical assistance, as well as financial assistance when appropriate.


Arkansas communities are encouraged to look to neighboring communities and counties as partners when it comes to business attraction, retention and expansion. This allows Arkansas’s small, rural areas the opportunity to combine talent and resources to compete effectively in today's global market.

Arkansas’s regions are able to address any workforce needs a company will have and can combine financial resources to create local economic development incentives. In other words, by coming together, regions can collectively utilize assets to move forward.