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Press Release

Harrison to Receive Support for Downtown and Small Businesses from Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District


CONTACT: Katelyn Little
Retail Strategies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (December 7, 2023) – Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD) has received grant funding from the USDA to provide Harrison, Arkansas, with support for downtown revitalization and its small business owners. Downtown Strategies, a division of Retail Strategies, will work with community leaders in Harrison to develop a new five-year action plan for downtown and provide training for small business owners.  

“Our goal is to create an environment where our citizens can enjoy our downtown and local small businesses can flourish and contribute to the prosperity of Harrison. With the expertise of Downtown Strategies and the support from the NWAEDD, we are eager to embark on this new partnership for our community,” said Mayor Jerry Jackson of Harrison.

Chelsey Weaver, Community Development Coordinator for NWAEDD, stated, “We are excited to join forces with leaders in Harrison and Downtown Strategies in transforming this community’s core. Downtown revitalization is pivotal for driving economic growth, and we are confident that this partnership will help do just that.”

Through this partnership Harrison will receive a five-year downtown revitalization plan and quarterly training for small business owners in the community. This approach aims to bolster the sustainability and resilience of Harrison’s local small businesses by sharing invaluable insights and assistance while also implementing a customized downtown plan centered around five key pillars: market analysis, policy and administration, design, tourism and promotion, and economic vitality.

“Northwest Arkansas is a thriving area of the country and we’re excited to work with NWAEDD on a new partnership to support two communities in the region,” said Clay Craft, Vice President of Client Services at Retail Strategies. “We are dedicated to identifying strategic pathways to boost the local economy, preserve the rich heritage of Harrison, and foster an environment where small businesses can thrive.”

About Harrison, Arkansas

Harrison, Arkansas, a charming city nestled in the Ozark Mountains, is home to a community of 13,195 residents. Known for its scenic beauty and warm hospitality, Harrison offers a blend of outdoor adventures and small-town charm. Fun Fact: Harrison is known for its annual Arkansas Hot Air Balloon Race State Championship. 

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The goal at NWAEDD is to be the vehicle that links the private and public sectors together while working to advance economic development in our communities. NWAEDD is defined as a “public entity” that is a non-profit, multi-county, multi-purpose, and multi-funded Planning and Development Organization serving Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton, Searcy and Washington Counties. The District is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of each respective County Judge, elected municipal officials, along with representatives from the private sector, institutions of higher learning and other fields throughout the nine county District.

About Downtown Strategies

Downtown Strategies, a division of Retail Strategies, exists to provide realistic, implementable strategies to communities for revitalizing their downtowns. Led by a team of former downtown revitalization practitioners and real estate experts, our combination of real-world experience, plus expertise in real estate and retail uniquely qualify us to assist communities with backfilling vacancies, increasing tourism, and enhancing the sense of place in their downtowns. Serving rural communities in 25 states, Downtown Strategies is the leading national firm for downtown revitalization planning, emphasizing real estate and retail.

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