Forecast: Northwest Arkansas Economy Should Continue Solid Performance

Northwest Arkansas’ steady economic performance in 2017 should continue this year “so long as the national economy holds up,” a University of Arkansas economist predicts.

Mervin Jebaraj, the director of the University of Arkansas Center for Business and Economic Research, predicted the solid year at Business Forecast 2018, an annual luncheon organized by the center. The event’s keynote speaker was Michael Milken, chairman of the Milken Institute.

Jebaraj gave “The Arkansas Economy in 2018: Can It Get Any Better Than This?” presentation before about 1,100 Northwest Arkansas and state business leaders in Rogers. The event is widely considered one the state’s most important gatherings of business people.

Jebaraj highlighted the impressive business statistics that have become so consistent in Northwest Arkansas, including the region’s remarkably low 2.5 percent unemployment rate, its continuing job creation and its $56,000 per capita personal income. He predicted the region’s low unemployment rate will continue and Benton and Washington counties are likely to see 6,000 of the 11,000 jobs that will be created statewide.

Yet, there are challenges and opportunities and Jebaraj described them. He noted the region’s need for better, more affordable childcare, the need to improve educational attainment, the need to increase the number of business startups, and the need for more affordable housing.

While the $230,000 average home price is well below average home prices in most areas of the U.S., the Northwest Arkansas price is up significantly from five years ago, Jebaraj said.

He also noted how important the economies of Northwest Arkansas and Jonesboro are to the state’s overall economy.

Jebaraj and Milken said there are opportunities to pursue more research funding that could lead to additional business growth in Northwest Arkansas.

Milken noted that the academic research and development dollars that flowed in 2015 to the University of Wisconsin ($1.1 billion), Duke University ($1 billion) and the University of Texas ($650 million) far exceeded what was received at the University of Arkansas ($130 million). More research in Arkansas would lead to more commercialization, creating jobs in Northwest Arkansas and statewide, Milken said.

Milken’s wide ranging speech touched on everything from Seattle’s solid economy despite losing Boeing jobs years ago to how San Diego used the University of California at San Diego to lead an economic surge in that city. He said San Diego over two decades had so much success with medical research that the more than 130 biotech companies that exist in the city today are more than in any place in the nation.

Milken said successful regions are able to attract and retain workforce talent, create vibrant communities, focus on technology advances and create business hubs centered around research universities.

Most Affordable Places to Live in Arkansas

Arkansas in the fall


Arkansas is a place for normal marvels.

Inhabitants appreciate lake sailing, stream paddling and climbing in the million sections of land of the Ozarks.

Additionally, there is the one of a kind opportunity to discover valuable gemstones at the Crater of Diamonds State Park close Murfreesboro.

Another fascination for newcomers and old-clocks is the ease of living here with a high caliber of life. has discovered the five best places to call locally established on a unique scorecard utilizing information in basic need costs, transportation and lodging alongside accessibility of human services, instruction and walkability to locate the least expensive urban areas as well as the best arrangement for the dollar.

5. North Little Rock

It’s elusive a city that packs such a punch in one spot. In any case, North Little Rock has a few dependable balance in expressions, water vessel history and open spaces.

A major attract to the zone is the 18,000-situate Verizon Arena, a diversion scene that has filled in as host to melodic acts, wearing occasions and science fiction traditions.

The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum highlights maritime history shows on a certifiable War II-period submarine.

Arranged on a huge 1,700 sections of land in the core of North Little Rock, Burns Park gloats tent and RV outdoors, a family entertainment mecca and offices for golf, plate golf, baseball, softball, BMX bicycle, soccer and tennis.

The best news is that one can live in North Little Rock without using up every last cent. Middle family unit salary is $39,591 while middle home cost is a low $118,900.

4. Fort Smith

Fortress Smith Courthouse.jpg

The second biggest city in Arkansas, Fort Smith, which exists on the outskirt with Oklahoma, has such a great amount to offer the individuals who live here.

Medicinal offices are copious while such huge numbers of differing organizations and shops have set up business to partake in the prospering economy. There are additionally a lot of spots to eat serving everything from Texas-style steak to Latin American suppers to solid Vietnamese toll.

People don’t get exhausted in Fort Smith. There are memorable exhibition halls to visit, workmanship and music attractions apparently on each corner and an abundance of parks and strolling trails to investigate.

Middle family unit pay is $35,096. Be that as it may, inhabitants truly spare money on lodging, as middle home cost is $113,300.

3. Hot Springs


In 2012, positioned Hot Springs in the Number 6 spot in a rundown of Top 10 Best Spring Break Destinations For Families over the U.S. due its nearness to open air recreational exercises, entertainment mecca rides and eateries.

Known as The American Spa, Hot Springs got this moniker from the common warm waters that rise here. People can at present take a relieving absorb these springs all through the region including the Hot Springs National Park, which incorporates Bathhouse Row in the core of the city.

The recreation center, which is the most seasoned assignment in the national stop framework, extends for more than 10 miles and incorporates climbing and sculling on the Caddo River. Comparative exercises can be found in the Ouachita Mountains and along lakes Ouachita and Hamilton.

The city gloats family fun at Magic Springs topic and Crystal Falls water parks, history lessons at the Gangster Museum of America and Mid-America Science Museum and gaming at Oaklawn Park horse course.

And the greater part of this can be part the changeless inhabitants’ regular day to day existences. Middle family unit salary is somewhat low at $29,836. In any case, middle home cost is the place Hot Springs truly sparkles at $113,400.

2. Little Rock


A different substance from the fifth city on our rundown, Little Rock isn’t just the capital of Arkansas yet in addition the biggest district in the state.

In any case, don’t give the huge city condition a chance to divert you off from moving here. Occupants have a considerable measure to fulfill their desires for high-class cooking, shopping and conveniences.

Most importantly, the economy is solid for state government specialists as well as those in the retail, managing an account and aeronautics ventures.

For higher instructive open doors, there is The University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Stimulation and recreational associations can be discovered Arkansas Art Center, River Market District, Big Dam Bridge and the 2,300-square-mile Pinnacle Mountain State Park. There is likewise a noteworthy yearly film celebration.

Middle family salary is generally high at $46,085 while middle home costs are at a nice $153,500.

1. Fayetteville


Our best moderate place to live in Arkansas is a school town that can’t be beat.

The University of Arkansas is one of the primary reasons why Fayetteville is so stunning with regards to instructive open doors, monetary development and social accessibility. Games darlings likewise cheer for the Arkansas Razorback groups.

Be that as it may, Fayetteville is so staggering in the city administrations and luxuries class that has reliably perceived the district. As of late, Fayetteville arrived on the Top 100 Best Places to Live rundown subsequent to being named a Top 10 College Town in 2013.

Shockingly, occupants don’t spend a considerable measure to call this city home. Middle family unit salary is $39,432 while middle home costs sit at $183,700.

Alongside the college’s exercises, there are a lot of spots to eat and exhibitions and shops to seek after.

Fayetteville is a moderately solid city while occupants appreciate paddling on three lakes, climbing a broad trail framework in a large number of parks and biking the Pig Trail Scenic Byway.


Thanks to the best towing service in Little Rock for sponsoring my blog.

Perseverance in Arkansas Business Endeavors

Natalie Madison is part bread cook, part craftsman, part businessperson.

When she chose to grow her cake business, she swung to her accomplices at the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“Natalie has been a customer of the ASBTDC for over 10 years and ceaselessly uses the administrations we give. She generally needs to learn,” said ASBTDC Business Consultant Whitney Horton.

Since 2013, Madison has claimed and worked Natalie Madison’s Artisan Cakes LLC in Little Rock, represent considerable authority in three-dimensional sculptural cakes and complicated custom wedding cakes.

Presently, notwithstanding making cakes, she will offer bread kitchen supplies and offer classes from another area with another name, Art Is In Cakes Bakery and Supply.

A year back, Madison entered chats with Vanness, Inc., the focal Arkansas provider of everything cake heating and enhancing throughout the previous 40 years. She consented to buy the Vanness stock. She additionally found another retail space on West Markham Street.

Requiring financing for the task, Madison connected with Horton and the ASBTDC.

Horton helped Madison patch up her strategy for success to demonstrate how the business was developing and set up an advance proposition fusing nitty gritty statistical surveying.

“By working with the ASBTDC, I could push through the advance procedure significantly quicker and with more certainty that the data was right. I’m certain that on the off chance that we hadn’t cooperated that I would even now be attempting to make sense of what moneylender I would utilize,” said Madison, who got a Small Business Administration-supported 7(a) advance through Arvest Bank.

Horton and Madison talked about all parts of the development, from the effect of new income streams on the business to web based business and working an online store.

As the November opening of her new space nears, Madison says she feels prepared.

“It’s essentially going similarly as I had arranged. One thing I have learned is that regardless of the amount you set up, there’s continually going to be something you weren’t expecting,” she said. “Be that as it may, without experiencing this extension, I would have never known I required it. I think about I’m stating that I was as readied as a business person could be, however you must be prepared for a curveball.”


Thanks so much to the premier window tinting company in Fayetteville for sponsoring my blog!

Arkansas Small Business Development

Beginning Jan. 12, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will have a free month to month gathering for anybody investigating beginning a business.

“Is Starting a Business Right for You?” will familiarize planned business visionaries with the startup procedure and the entrepreneurial way of life. The free, hour-long discussion drove by an ASBTDC business advisor will cover what beginning and working a business requires and tips to enable you to choose on the off chance that you are prepared to push ahead with your thought.

Bring your inquiries!

Notwithstanding the January date, “Is Starting a Business Right for You?” will be held Feb. 20, March 13 and April 24 at the UA Little Rock Reynolds Business Center.

Enrollment is required and accessible at occasions.

Thanks so much to for sponsoring my blog!

Arkansas State Parks

Arkansas has some of the finest bird watching you will find. We have several birding opportunities in Arkansas state parks. Many of our parks have bird watching checklists, and many park interpreters are avid birders who will delight in helping guide you to view some of the many the birds of Arkansas. At Bull Shoals-White River State Park, kids got a unique understanding into the life of an eagle during one of our events, including if they are taller than an eagle and how their wingspan matched up.

Best Places to Live in Arkansas

Arkansas, the Natural State. A great many people who don’t live there would likely best partner the 25th participant into the Union with one William Jefferson Clinton, our 42nd President. Or then again perhaps Walmart. Did you understand, however, that it’s additionally the origin of such individuals as Johnny Cash and lofty apparatuses of the American scene as the Ozarks? All things considered, it is, and it additionally contains inside its 53,000-odd square miles some really awesome spots to live. We’ve been caught up with deciding just which places are the most flawlessly awesome inside each state, and, as you’ve no uncertainty speculated, our journey conveys us today to Arkansas. We put this most characteristic of states under our Saturday Night Science magnifying instrument and analyzed the information on its biggest areas to create this positioning, on which sits the city of Bentonville. The full 10 best places in Arkansas are:

1. City of Bentonville

2. City of Fayetteville

3. City of Rogers

4. City of Bella Vista

5. City of Jonesboro (tie)

6. City of Siloam Springs (tie)

7. City of Springdale (tie)

8. City of Texarkana (tie)

9. City of Little Rock

10. City of Batesville

You’re likely pondering what influences Bentonville to best, or why Little Rock is such a major ordeal. Luckily, we have answers to these inquiries (and that’s just the beginning). Truth be told, we’ll be really expounding on each of our best 10 puts directly after we clarify how precisely we made this positioning.

How We Created This Ranking

On the off chance that this is your first time at one of our Big Deal List rodeos, here’s the means by which it works. We begin with a rundown of all urban communities, towns, and Census Designated Places in a state with more than 10,000 inhabitants for this situation that was 36. We assess them in light of an arrangement of criteria intended to decide how incredible they are, utilizing information from the Census Bureau and professional references. These are:

Add up to courtesies

Personal satisfaction (typical cost for basic items, middle home value, middle lease, middle family unit pay, and understudy to-instructor proportion)

Add up to violations

Duty rates (deals assessment and salary charge)


Drive time

Climate (temperature and air quality)

Each place is given a rank for the different criteria, for this situation 1 to 37, with the most minimal score being the best. We at that point normal these individual positions into what we call our Big Deal Score, and the most minimal one of those is proclaimed the best place in the state. As we uncovered over, that respect went to Bentonville. Need to perceive how each of the 37 places positioned? You’ll see that information in the table toward the finish of this post. Presently, how about we investigate what make each of our best 10 places emerge.

1. Bentonville

Keep in mind how we specified Walmart up top? All things considered, Bentonville is the place its organizer got his begin. Sam Walton opened his first rebate store, which turned into Walton’s Five and Dime, there in the 1940s and today it’s a noteworthy downtown symbol and guest focus. There’s significantly more to Bentonville than that, however, as the city’s tenth place complete for enhancements and fourth-put rank for personal satisfaction bear witness to. Occupants appreciate attractions, for example, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Museum of Native American History, and eating at any semblance of Whole Hog Cafe (where there are seven BBQ sauces) or Tusk and Trotter, known for its risotto balls and bacon fragile dessert. Or on the other hand, you can simply invest some energy outside getting a charge out of the principal positioned climate.

2. Fayetteville

Home to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville has the qualification setting first (in a two-path tie) for work, with a joblessness rate of 5.2 percent. The city likewise emerged with a fourth-put complete in all out comforts (and third-positioned climate. Home estimations in Fayetteville show a powerful urge to live there, and it set second in this class with a middle cost of $174,100. Fayetteville is a major grill town, and occupants run to Penguin Ed’s for their fill; non-carnivores have a tendency to incline toward the Greenhouse Grille. Everybody can concur that the personal satisfaction in this city of near 77,000 is sufficiently awesome to gain it an eighth-put complete in that regard.

3. Rogers

Rogers, a city of almost 56,000, is the place Walmart truly got its begin (when the principal store opened there in 1962). Luckily, you don’t need to be Sam Walton to appreciate a decent personal satisfaction there, as its third-put positioning in this class incorporates a typical cost for basic items 7 percent underneath the national normal. It likewise set third for business, with a joblessness rate of 5.7 percent. Rogers is positioned 6th for courtesies, which incorporate nearby top picks like Abuelo’s. It’s additionally home to the Daisy airgun exhibition hall; fitting for a place that extremely shot up our positioning.

4. Bella Vista

Bella Vista’s name in Italian signifies “lovely sight,” and there are many things about this city-initially established as a resort town-that look better than average. Boss among those is its personal satisfaction, which was adequate to rank first generally speaking and incorporates the most noteworthy middle lease ($1,104) and third-most noteworthy middle family unit wage ($57,929) of wherever we took a gander at. Bella Vista likewise has the least wrongdoing rate out of the 36 set we reviewed: 765 violations for every 100,000 occupants. The city tied for first in climate with Bentonville, which bodes well thinking about its resort starting points and normal excellence.

5. Jonesboro (tie)

Our positioning has two urban communities at fifth place, the first of those is Jonesboro, home to a little more than 67,000 individuals and Arkansas State University. It’s likewise home to conveniences like nearby most loved Skinny J’s which earned it a ninth-put complete in that classification. Jonesboro’s personal satisfaction and wrongdoing came in at twentieth and 21st, separately, however the city earned focuses for positioning tenth in both climate and drive time. While it didn’t climb the honest for these realities, we believe it’s entirely awesome that Hattie Caraway, the main female U.S. Congressperson, was from that point (so is John Grisham).

6. Siloam Springs (tie)

Sharing the No. 5 spot with Joneboro, Siloam Springs is a significantly littler (just 15,000 inhabitants) district known for its, well, springs and conduit. It’s additionally known for its yearly Dogwood Festival, which draws in about twofold the city’s populace to the region. What we were most inspired by was Siloam Springs’ appearing in wrongdoing rate (it positioned fourth-most secure) and work (it tied for third with a joblessness rate of 5.7 percent). The city’s short drive time of 16 minutes was likewise a champion, winning it a moment put complete for that measure.

7. Springdale (tie)

Settled in the Ozark mountains, this other city with “spring” in its name is the first of two spots we took a gander at to be positioned seventh by and large. Perceived as the poultry capital of the world, Springdale’s occupants would most likely rather have outcasts center around things like the Art Center of the Ozarks and Shiloh Center of Ozark History. We’ll center around how Springdale tied with Fayetteville for first in business (its joblessness rate is 5.2 percent) and its fifth-put complete for pleasantries, including hotspots like James At The Mill. The city likewise has wrongdoing rate sufficiently low for it to put fifth in that foundation.

8. Texarkana (tie)

The inhabitants of Texarkana, AR (about 30,000 of them) need to impart their reasonable city to the individuals who live in Texarkana, TX, as this twofold life-driving nearby straddles the state line. The Arkansas side, at any rate, brags enough enhancements for it to rank seventh in that class (and claim places like Hopkins Icehouse as its own). Texarkana’s personal satisfaction was likewise sufficiently high to almost make the best 10; it put fourteenth, encouraged by a 15 to 1 understudy instructor proportion and typical cost for basic items 21 percent underneath the national normal.

9. Little Rock

Ok, there’s the state capital and biggest city in Arkansas (at almost 194,000 individuals). Little Rock, broadly where Bill Clinton filled in as representative before making the trek to the White House, likewise happens to have the second-best personal satisfaction of any city we took a gander at-including a typical cost for basic items 13 percent underneath the national normal. As a major city (by Arkansas gauges, at any rate) wrongdoing is a bigger issue in Little Rock, procuring it a 32nd-put rank for the paradigm. Luckily, things like an ahead of everyone else complete for enhancements helped it flash go down the general positioning (like a Flying Saucer. bar, a neighborhood top choice).

10. Batesville

Batesville adjusts our best 10 best places in Arkansas while likewise being the littlest of them at a little more than 10,000 individuals. Those occupants are more secure than most others in the state, seeing as Batesville positioned as the seventh-most secure place we took a gander at. While little, it didn’t complete keep going for pleasantries; it positioned 24th in that class. Batesville’s common excellence is additionally a champion, and the city dealt with a fourth-put rank by and large for its climate, which midpoints a charming 77 degrees in the late spring with air nature of 33 (on a size of 1 to 100, with 1 being ideal).

A Natural Beauty, Mostly

As should be obvious, Arkansas gloats some incredible spots, of all shapes and sizes. Shouldn’t something be said about the opposite end of the scale, however? The base of our rundown is possessed by West Memphis, AR, which positioned close toward the end in numerous classes and rearward in wrongdoing. The rest of our last five incorporate, in diving request: Marion, AR, Helena-West Helena, AR, Camden, AR, and Blytheville, AR.

Thanks so much to Fayetteville Fencing Company for sponsoring my blog.

Arkansas Entrepreneurship Week

Is it true that you are occupied with beginning a business to have any kind of effect, not only a benefit? Here’s the thing: To change the world and help other people, your business needs to succeed.

College of Arkansas at Little Rock understudies and workforce are welcome to go along with us amid Global Entrepreneurship Week as we examine how you can begin well, develop your business, and do the most great.

“Begin Well, Do Good” Global Entrepreneurship Week

Driven by Whitney Horton, ASBTDC Business Consultant

Room 251, Reynolds Business Center

Night: Nov. 14, 5:15-6 p.m.

LUNCH: Nov. 15, 12-12:45 p.m.

Presently in its eighth year, Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s biggest festival of the trend-setters and occupation makers who dispatch new businesses that breath life into thoughts, drive monetary development, and extend human welfare. Occasions will happen in more than 170 nations.

Need to investigate enterprise’s conceivable outcomes and openings and how ASBTDC can help? Visit our asset table in the RBC Atrium on Nov. 7 from 4-5:30 p.m. or on the other hand Nov. 9 from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m.

For more data, contact ASBTDC’s Shannon Roberts at 501.683.7700 or