economy

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Secretary Stacy Hurst today announced that beginning May 1, campgrounds at Arkansas State Parks will reopen for RV campers with the following limitations:

City of Jonesboro

This is text of Mayor Harold Perrin’s speech: 

Thank you for joining us today.

 

As we begin, I want to say how proud I am of our community response over the past couple of months.

 

This is a trying time for our city. People are hurting. And as your mayor, your neighbor, and your friend, that’s a very hard thing for me to accept.

 

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The economy in Arkansas and around the nation has slowed considerably due to COVID-19 concerns.  KASU's Johnathan Reaves talked with Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Philip Tew about what concerns him the most on the impact of the economy.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.  

Arkansas Department of Health

Little Rock, Ark. (March 18, 2020) – Arkansas Community Foundation announces the creation of the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Arkanas Governor Asas Hutchinson at a press conference with state health officials delivering an update to COVID-19 cases.
YouTube / The Office of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas will tap Community Development Block Grant funds and the state’s Quick Action Closing Fund to support small businesses and nonprofits that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today during a press conference at the Capitol.

The Governor has made a formal request for a disaster declaration for small businesses, which will open up loans of up to $2 million in working capital.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' finance office says the state's January revenue remained above forecast and above the same month last year. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration said Tuesday that the revenue was helped by higher-than-expected corporate income and sales tax collections. Arkansas has accumulated a surplus of roughly $94 million since the fiscal year that began July 1. The department says individual income tax collections in January were above the same month last year but below forecast.

Talk Business & Politics

The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services is holding a free workshop at Arkansas State University Tuesday morning about how employers can grow talent through implementing apprenticeship programs.  This takes place at First National Bank Arena on November 12th.  Telling more about this is Project Lead and Business Services and Outreach Employment Assistance Mark McManus and Apprenticeship Director with the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences Lonnie Emard.  McManus says the Tuesday meeting corresponds with this comin

O'Reilly Hospitality Management

A wet 2019 has pushed back the opening of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Red Wolf Convention Center in Jonesboro.  General Manager Kraig Pomrenke gives an update on the project.  Click on the Listen button for the entire interview.

Arkansas State University

The football season opener for the Arkansas State University Red Wolves takes place next Saturday night at Centennial Bank stadium as A-State hosts Southeast Missouri State.  Before the season opener, an annual tradition takes place in Jonesboro, called Paint the Town Red, as the Jonesboro Chamber of 

Arkansas State University

Dr. Philip Tew has a passion for educating young people about financial matters.  He is associate professor of finance in the Neil Griffin College of Business at Arkansas State.  Tew is also the director for the Center of Economic Education and Financial Literacy and also is the director of the Scarlet to Black financial literacy program on the A-State campus.  

Talk Business' Roby Brock (left) with Economist Mervin Jebaraj (right)
Talk Business and Politics

Economist Mervin Jebaraj discusses tariffs, trade, deficit growth and personal income data.


  In the two years since Peco Foods started operations in northeast Arkansas, one northeast Arkansas town has seen an explosion of growth.  Pocahontas has seen an influx of people coming to the town to work at Peco.  The last Census numbers show that Pocahontas has a population of 6,800…but Mayor Kary Story thinks that number now is close to 8,500..and growing.  Story says when Peco announced they were coming to Randolph County in 2014, a plan was put in place to start building housing.

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Incoming Senate President Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, says he wants members to vote later this year to open up the Senate chamber and its committee meetings for live-streaming.

Angela Lowther, Executive Dir. of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, sitting with Paul Gatling, Editor of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal
Talk Business and Politics

Health insurance—it’s constantly a worry for business owners, and the dynamics are continually changing.  TB&P Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Editor Paul Gatling recently sat down with Angela Lowther, Executive Director of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, to find out what’s happening… in the Marketplace.


The Arkansas Supreme Court today overturned a lower court's ruling, and thus, an appointed commission and a state agency may resume rollout of the state's medical marijuana program, stalled since March.

But the court's majority opinion hewed closely to a procedural consideration, and its chief justice appears to be cautioning the Medical Marijuana Commission to re-evaluate its procedures.

The whole scene may end up back in court before long, says one lawyer close to the process.

Brandon Tabor / KASU News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for the state to launch its medical marijuana program, reversing and dismissing a judge's ruling that prevented officials from issuing the first license for businesses to grow the drug.

Talk Business and Politics

About three years ago Ronnie Samuel’s son was searching for a bumper for his ATV. When Samuel saw what was on the market, he told his son they could make something better.

Rage Fabrications was born.

The company opened its doors on a new facility Monday (June 18) in Trumann. Samuel told Talk Business & Politics his company invested about $200,000 in the company and it employs 10 workers. The facility located in the Truman industrial park is owned by the city, but Rage has signed a lease for at least five years and it has options for it to be extended up to 20 years.

Brandon Tabor / KASU News

Hefei Risever Machinery Co., Arkansas' 5th Chinese-headquartered company, broke ground on Friday, in the Northeast corner of the state. 

The ceremony took place at their new location—behind FMH Conveyors at the Craighead Technology Park in East Jonesboro.  Risever makes fabrication parts for various manufacturers, such as Caterpillar and Volvo. Back in 2017, Risever announced their plans to build their first North American plant in Jonesboro. 

Today the state Supreme Court takes up the matter of the state’s medical marijuana program, stalled since March. If it upholds Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen’s decision nullifying the Medical Marijuana Commission’s top five picks for marijuana growing licenses — indeed the very selection process the Commission used — it could push the forecast for available medical marijuana into 2019.

That would mean money out of the pockets of many early investors such as entrepreneur Brian Teeter.

Talk Business' Roby Brock (left) with Economist Mervin Jebaraj (right)
Talk Business and Politics

UA Walton College economist Mervin Jebaraj discusses with Talk Business’ Roby Brock what’s at work in the Arkansas economy, including GDP and population shifts.


A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart in Miami, Florida.
Wikipedia

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is offering its employees a new perk: affordable access to a college degree.

America's largest private employer, which in the past has helped its workers get their high school or equivalency degrees, hopes the new benefit will help it recruit and retain higher quality entry-level employees in a tight U.S. labor market.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' fastest-growing cities are mostly suburbs while more rural, smaller cities are shrinking, according to recent census figures.

The U.S. Census Bureau released data Thursday including the state's population changes between 2010 and 2017, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

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KENNETT, Mo. (AP) — The sudden closure of a hospital has left some expectant mothers in the Missouri Bootheel region scrambling for care in an area that already has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the U.S.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In his bid for re-election, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he’s helped bring more than 60,000 jobs to the state since taking office. Of course, not all jobs are the same. As part of Arkansas Public Media's ongoing partnership with the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas, assistant professor Rob Wells and his students investigated wages in Northwest Arkansas and sought out low-wage workers in and around the flagship university campus for a multimedia project called “Working for Low Wages in Arkansas.” Click to learn more.

Twenty-five percent of families are considered to be in poverty in Northwest Arkansas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and many of them are working for a living.

What is that like? How do these people make ends meet?

A group of University of Arkansas journalism students set out this semester to examine life for people living at or close to minimum wage. 

(left to right) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst, and Talk Bussiness & Politics' Roby Brock
Talk Business and Politics

Talk Business and Politics’ Roby Brock sits down with Stacy Hurst, Department of Arkansas Heritage Director, and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson.  They talk about how public-private partnerships are being created to help maintain the state’s heritage and tourist attractions.


Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Next July, Jonesboro is expected to have a hotel and convention center open.  It will be on the campus of Arkansas State University.  Jonesboro is very similar to Springfield, Missouri.  Comparisons were made between the two cities during last week’s groundbreaking ceremony.  Tim O’Reilly is with O’Reilly Hospitality Management, which is making the project possible.  O’Reilly says this project is a big deal for Jonesboro because of the economic impacts that will open up to the city that have not been in Jonesboro before.  He uses Springfield as an example.

Leaders breaking ground on the new Red Wolf Convention Center and Hotel at the Jonesboro campus of Arkansas State University.
Brandon Tabor / KASU News

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Red Wolf Convention Center and Hotel at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro on Thursday was more than just a celebration, but a reminder of the center’s other purpose—education.

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley talking with Roby Brock
Talk Business and Politics

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, a once troubled and embattled state program that was struggling with legislative oversite and declining revenues, has made a remarkable turnaround in the last couple of years.  About the only headlines you read these days are good ones about the program.  Lottery Director Bishop Woosley sits with host Roby Brock to discuss what’s been the “winning ticket” for the program’s success.


Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

HICKMAN, Ark. (AP) - A North Carolina-based steel company is furthering its expansion in northeast Arkansas with a planned $240 million sheet metal production line.

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Gas prices are between 40 to 50-cents higher this year than they were last year.  With record numbers of drivers expected to be on the road for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, high demand could make the price at the pump higher.  Mike Right is the Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Automobile Association. He tells what is causing the gas prices to go higher.  

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