NEW PUBLICATION will target high-value households for area businesses Re-locators, pre-locators, small business owners and high-income households are the recipe for success for Conway area businesses. At least Jamie Gates, Sr. Vice President of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, thinks so: “We think by identifying households that are seeking new business relationships or households with high incomes, we can help businesses increase their profits.” The Conway Area Chamber aims to do this through the publication and unique distribution strategy of the “Conway Explorer,” a resource guide for Conway residents new and old. The “Conway Explorer” will serve as the Chamber’s membership directory, quality of life publication and local reference guide. The guide will be a high-quality piece that features useful, locally written, information for new residents and advertisements from businesses within Conway’s trade area. The guide will be mailed to every household of a qualifying income level relocating within Conway’s traditional trade area. The relocation mailings will take place quarterly. Gates said that contacting relocators as quickly as possible should be a priority for any business. “Research tells us that relocating families’ spending may increase seven fold their first six months in a home. They will also establish dozens of permanent business relationships such as health care and finance professionals. It is a critical time to gain their attention.” Gates said that an equally important, but See EXPLORER, Page 2
LUNCH AND LEARN
The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Small Business Lunch & Learn on Monday, July 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chamber building on 900 Oak Street. This session is co-sponsored by Big House Burger Joint and Verizon and Nokia Siemens Networks. Rob Lamberson, data sales account manager for Verizon Wireless in Arkansas, will speak about “Gadgets for Small Business” and will introduce participants to new products that can help them conduct business more efficiently. One gadget he will discuss in particular is the tablet. “The ‘tablet craze’ is in full swing, with projected sales of 13 million tablets nationwide this year,” Lamberson said. “These devices deliver well beyond entertainment and personal organization. “They are used as a key business tool in numerous industries, including health care, finance, utilities, telecommunications and See LEARN, Page 3
Thirty-nine of Conway’s highest achieving high school graduates were recently recognized at the Academic Signing Day presented by Acxiom. The graduates were later surprised with HP laptops and printers donated by Hewlett-Packard.
Conway Seniors Recognized for Academic Achievement Each year, Conway Academic Signing Day recognizes a select few of the highachieving graduating seniors from Conway Public Schools, St. Joseph and Conway Christian who have received significant academic awards and substantial scholarships. The event is hosted by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and is presented by Acxiom Corporation. This year’s 39 honorees met one of the following criteria
to be selected for Academic Signing Day: • a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher and the recipient of a top scholarship from the four-year accredited college or university of their choice; • acceptance into the Honors Program at the college or university of their choice; • an appointment to a U.S. Service Academy; • the winner of a state or national scholarship program; or • a National Merit Scholar or National Achievement Scholar designation. Bart Shaw, vice president of operations at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce,
EXPLORER, from Page 1 difficult to find, demographic is the “pre-locator.” “We call a pre-locator someone who contacts the Chamber before they ever come to Arkansas. It may be a move they make or their own, or we may be working with a local business to help with transition.” Gates says that what makes these 2 | FAULKNER COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL
said that the event is a public and fun way to recognize academic excellence. “Academic Signing Day is based loosely on letter of intent ceremonies for athletic scholarship recipients and provides insight into the collegiate destinations and academic achievements of Conway graduates,” Shaw said. “Conway Area Chamber of Commerce started this event to provide high academic achievers and their support systems with the recognition they deserve.” The ceremony took place in May at the University of Central Arkansas’ Student Center
valuable households difficult to discover is that they haven’t officially made a move that would show up in any traditional marketing lists. “Prelocators would be impossible for small businesses to identify on their own. These are names that we get by taking the phone calls at the Chamber or by partnering with local industry. We fulfill hundreds of requests each year from
Ballroom. One by one, honorees stated where they plan to attend college, signed a placard indicating their choice, and received an award. Jeff Standridge, vice president of global operations at Acxiom, was the keynote speaker. “Acxiom of Conway has a multitude of bright and academically gifted individuals, many of whom were educated in Faulkner County schools,” said Standridge. “Acxiom recognizes that education is critical to economic development, so we want to honor those students who excel.” This year’s signees will attend 16 colleges, universi-
prospective residents.” Finally, the Conway Explorer will be mailed regionally to high-income households, not only in Conway but in areas that rely on Conway for goods and services. More than 4,000 copies will be sent to the area’s highest income households, some 30 or more miles away. Any business is welcome to ad-
ties and Service academies in eight states. Other sponsors for Academic Signing Day 2011 were Hewlett-Packard, Conway Corporation, Virco, First Security Bank and Southwestern Energy. In addition to the award presented on Academic Signing Day, HP held a special reception at the Chamber building to further recognize the students’ academic success. At the reception, representatives from HP unveiled 39 mini-laptop computers and multi-function printers as a surprise gift to each honoree.
vertise in the Conway Explorer. The Chamber will host a series of informative sessions June 20-23 about how businesses can participate in the Conway Explorer. To get more information about the sessions or how your business may benefit from advertising, call the Chamber at 501.327.7788 or email Jamie@conwayarkansas.org.
Conway Economy at a Glance Unemployment Rate April 2011 US ....................................9.0% Arkansas............................7.7% Faulkner County .............. 6.8% Conway..............................5.8% Labor Force April 2011 Conway Employed........................26,822 Unemployed.....................1,671 Total................................28,493 Faulkner County* Employed........................53,850 Unemployed.....................3,950 Total................................57,800 *Includes Conway Sales Tax Collections Conway- YTD March 2011........................$3,144,947 2010........................$3,304,291 Percent Change -4.8% Conway-Annual* 2010......................$21,868,102 2009......................$20,825,010 Percent Change 5.0% *Tax Rate 1.75 Faulkner County –YTD March 2011........................$1,168,543 2010........................$1,159,090 Percent Change 0.8% Faulkner-Annual* 2010........................$7,834,226 2009........................$7,731,691 Percent Change 1.3% *Tax Rate 0.5% Restaurant Sales* Conway – YTD April 2011......................$48,577,923 2010......................$45,056,184 Percent Change 7.8% Annual Sales 2010....................$139,864,203 2009 ...................$130,911,970 Percent Change 6.8% *Includes mixed drink sales Hotel Sales Conway - YTD April 2011........................$5,691,484 2010 ...................... $5,705,206 Percent Change -0.2% Annual Sales 2010......................$17,590,242 2009..................... $16,404,114 Percent Change 7.2% Building Permits Single Family Residents YTD - April 2011 ........................ 61 permits 2010 ..................... 123 permits Percent Change -50.4% Total for the Year 2010 ..................... 223 Permits 2009 ..................... 259 Permits Percent Change -13.9%
Average Construction Cost* YTD - May 2011.......................... $215,389 2010...........................$162,068 Percent Change 32.9% *Not including land or lot improvements Average Square Footage YTD - May* 2011 ..........................2,948 2010 ..........................2,767 Percent Change: 6.6 Percent Change 21.4% *Total under Roof Lottery Sales Faulkner County May..........................$1,540,095 Annual*..................$16,404,546 Annual Per Capita .......$144.87 Total State May . .....................$43,660,063 Annual*................$420,422,088 Annual Per Capita........$147.25 *June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2011 Natural Gas Severance Tax Distribution June 2011 Faulkner County...........$16,127 Conway.........................$20,064 2010 Faulkner County.........$171,543 Conway.......................$221,255 Wellhead Price per MCF* February 2011 ................................$4.12 2010 ................................$4.04 2009.................................$3.45 2008.................................$8.84 Yearly Average 2010 ......................... $4.16 2009 ......................... $3.71 2008.......................... $8.07 2007.......................... $6.37 2006 ......................... $6.40 2005 ......................... $7.33 2004 ......................... $5.46 2003 ......................... $4.88 2002 ......................... $2.95 *1000 cubic feet Number of Wells* Faulkner County..................266 Total in Field . ..................3,439 *As of Feb. 17, 2011 Estimated Life Time Value of Production* Total Field.........$8,553,336,233 *As of February 10, 2011
Information provided by pulseofconway.com
Conway, Faulkner County Residents Younger, Smarter and Wealthier BY ROGER LEWIS
Conway residents have a lower average age and more education when compared to Faulkner County, Arkansas and US residents. Average household incomes of Conway’s residents are slightly below Faulkner County’s and above the Arkansas average; but well below the US average. This information is revealed in the recent release of the 2010 census data and also the American Community Survey conducted by the census bureau. Of the population 25 years and older, 41% of Conway’s residents hold a college degree, associate, bachelors or professional degree, compared to 33% for Faulkner County, 24% for Arkansas and 35% for the United States. Education is our greatest natural resource; it is our intellectual capital that will build this great community. In a recent book by Michio Kaku “Physics of the Future”, he devotes a chapter on the future of wealth where he states that intellectual capitalism is replacing commodity capitalism. We can see this taking place in Conway with the growth in knowledge based industries and the decline of manufacturing industries. The fact that we are above the national average in education level not only speaks well of our values but it is the foundation for our future prosperity. The median age of Conway’s residents is 27.3 compared to 30.8 for Faulkner County, 36.1 for Arkansas and 35.8 for the U. S. That is, half of Conway’s residents are under LEARN, from Page 1 education – among others.” At the Lunch & Learn, Lamberson will share his insights on how tablets can impact businesses positively and streamline operations. In his role as the data sales account
27.3 years old. Students attending colleges in Conway are counted in the census and skew this number. The percent of the population between 20 and 24 years of age is 17.9% for Conway compared to 12.0% for Faulkner County, 6.8% for Arkansas and 7.0% for the U.S. The percent of Conway’s population for all other age brackets are relatively equal to Faulkner County’s, Arkansas and the U.S. when you adjust for the spike in the number of 20 to 24 year olds. The 2010 census data collection used what is labeled a short form and did not include information on income. For this information, the census bureau conducts annually The American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS randomly samples addresses geographically and surveys the residents concerning income, occupations, education and other demographic information. Population characteristics are estimated from this survey data. Information from the survey generates data that helps to determine how more than $400 billion in federal and state funds are distributed each year. It also provides a means to update the decennial census to reflect changes in demographics. Incomes are reported in several ways, the most popular are per capita income and household incomes. Income includes all sources, in addition to earned income (wages), it includes retirement, investment, royalty, and rental incomes to name the major sources. It is a better measure of resident’s standard of living than earned income only. Per capita income is the total income of all residents divided by the population and this includes non wage earners such as children, elderly and disabled. It is the lowest
manager for Arkansas, he offers strategic advice and data solutions for hundreds of corporate customers across the state. In support of Verizon’s mission to ensure outstanding customer service and satisfaction, Lamberson also supports the
measure of income. The per capita income is $21,693 for Conway, $23,080 for Faulkner County, $20,977 for Arkansas and $27,041 for the US. Household incomes also include incomes from all sources and may include the wages of more than one person. The median household incomes, the midpoint of the house hold income range, are Conway $41,966, Faulkner County $44,600, Arkansas $38,542 and US $51,425. It is interesting to note that the average or mean household incomes are significantly higher, Conway$57,866, Faulkner County$58,774, Arkansas $52,198 and the US $70,096. The large discrepancy between the mean (average) and the median (midpoint) is due to how household incomes are arrayed, they do not follow the typical bell curve model. The lower incomes are bunched up at the lower level where as the upper incomes are spread out over a very long tail in the curve with some very high incomes skewing the average upward. The fact that incomes of Conway resident’s are lower than Faulkner County’s is likely due to the high percentage of Conway’s population between 20 and 24 years of age, largely college students with low or no income. Another interesting data set is the sources of income. Social security is part of household incomes for 18.8% of Conway residents compared to 23.8% for Faulkner County, 37.6% for Arkansas and 27.1% for U.S. residents. The low percentage for Conway is also indicative of Conway’s younger population. Further demographic data on Conway and Faulkner County can be found at Pulse of Conway website: www. pulseofconway.com.
company’s internal teams through training of new data products and programs. The Small Business Lunch & Learn is $15 for Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. Seating is limited to the first 40 participants. To
register, call Whitney Farris at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce at 501-932-5411 or email Whitney@ConwayArkansas.org. Payment must be received upon reservation. Major credit cards and debit cards are accepted.
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Shakespearean Festival Stimulates Economy The Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre offers a repertoire of family friendly professional productions each June at Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus. Performances are also held at the Village at Hendrix and Argenta Community Theater in North Little Rock. Now in its fifth season, this year’s performances include Othello, As You Like It, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Tortoise and the Hare. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at arkshakes.com/tickets. With its goals of artistic excellence, educational opportunities and community outreach, AST brings professional performers from around the country to Conway and provides opportunities for local performers as well. Mary Ruth Marotte, executive director of AST, said that people come to the Conway area from all across the region to attend the summer festival, which stimulates the local
The Conway-based Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, the state’s only professional Shakespeare company, performed Macbeth and The Producers in 2009. Tickets are on sale now for the 2011 season.
economy and adds to the city’s quality of life. “When people attend the four performances we have each year, they also eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and enjoy other forms of recreation,” said Marotte. “The festival defines our community, which is becoming
rich with cultural and artistic experiences. “Conway has really embraced this cultural gem that makes us different from anywhere else in Arkansas,” Marotte said. The festival occurs at the same time as Arkansas Governor’s School, a four-week,
summer residential program for select gifted and talented students who are upcoming high school seniors and residents of the state of Arkansas. Marotte said that Governor’s School sends its students to the festival each year, and over 500 students from across the state will attend this year’s
performances. AST has given more than 1,000 free and discounted tickets to local students and charities and has created more than 50 internships. The organization’s touring troupe performs abridged versions of each year’s offerings at various venues throughout central Arkansas with the focus on introducing young people to Shakespeare and the performing arts. Founded in December 2006, the mission of AST is to entertain, engage and enrich the community by creating professional and accessible productions of Shakespeare and other works that promote educational opportunities, community involvement and the highest artistic standards. In pursuing this mission, AST seeks to be a source of pride and an invaluable resource to UCA, the community and to greater central Arkansas.
Online Tool Connects Employers with Future Workforce Governor Mike Beebe and the ARKANSASWORKS Partnership are encouraging employers across the state to register their businesses on the ARKANSASWORKS state government website. Connect2Business is a free online tool that enables employers to reach potential job candidates by posting company information and extended learning opportunities on the college and career-planning system. Extended learning opportunities include internships,
apprenticeships, work-based mentoring and job shadowing opportunities. By building a profile in the Connect2Business tool, employers can connect their businesses with students and job-seeking adults to build their future workforce. Maria Hoskins, business representative for ARKANSASWORKS Connect2Business, said that in order for this new venture to enjoy the success in Arkansas that it has had in other states, it needs support and participation from the business community. “Our goals are to have
4 | FAULKNER COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL
businesses populate the Connect2Business tool with opportunities for students and job-seeking adults so that we may help them realize their career plans,” said Hoskins. “We also want to give employers an opportunity to increase awareness of their businesses by sharing the ‘real world of work’ and the careers behind the walls of their companies.” To register a business, visit www.arworks.Arkansas.gov and click on the Connect2Business link. Then click on the “Employers” tab and select “New Users.” From there, select “Employer,” create a
user name and password, and complete the required entry fields. (Businesses with existing accounts can click on “Log In” to access their profiles.) On a profile, a business can link to its website, highlight its company history and mission statement, and feature career opportunities and corporate videos. The following state agencies and nonprofit organizations comprise the ARKANSASWORKS Partnership: • Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges • Arkansas Department of Education
• Arkansas Department of Career Education • Arkansas Department of Higher Education • Arkansas Department of Workforce Services • Arkansas Economic Development Commission • Arkansas Science and Technology Authority • Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce To learn more about how to support ARKANSASWORKS and become a Connect2Business partner, contact Maria Hoskins at 515-229-5832 or at email@example.com.
Chamber adds Director of Destination Marketing
While Conway may never top the list of popular Arkansas tourism spots, the city can still enjoy the economic benefits of visitors. Youth athletics tournaments, business travelers and those attending events at our colleges all represent niche markets that offer Conway tremendous opportunity. Rachel Earls’ job is to figure out how to market to those groups and individuals. This month Earls begins her role as the Chamber’s first Director of Destination Marketing. Earls will serve as the Chamber’s primary liaison to the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “I’m really excited about the chance to help such a great team promote
Conway. It’s a great city with so much to offer to its citizens and to visitors.” Earls was previously an Account Executive with the Sells Agency, a Little Rock based full service advertising, marketing and public relations firm. She has a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from Arkansas State University. While at Sells she worked on a number of central Arkansas accounts including Centennial Bank, Acxiom and the Jacksonville Advertising and Promotion Commission. Chamber President Brad Lacy says that Earls’ experience will bring new ideas and expertise to the Chamber. “With Rachel, we get an experienced marketing professional who can add to our team on day one. She knows the ins and outs of business communi-
cation and can immediately put her experience to work for us. “In addition to her Convention and Visitors Bureau duties, Earls will help with external communications and sales of Chamber products and events. The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce has an annual contract with the Conway Convention and Visitors Bureau to provide staffing and facilities for the bureau’s marketing efforts. The Chamber produces marketing materials, responds to requests for information and actively recruits events to Conway on behalf of the CVB. Earls thinks that Conway has what it takes to build on recent successes. “Conway’s location and combination of new facilities and established destinations make it an easy sell.”
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Verizon, Chamber Bowling for Business
It’s air conditioned, easier to participate in and offers more opportunity for networking. These are just a few of the reasons Conway Chamber Vice President of Operations Bart Shaw said the Chamber decided to host a Bowling for Business event in lieu of their traditional golf tournament.
“While golf tournaments are great fundraising events, we feel like our bowling event is a better venue for promoting your business to other professionals.” Shaw said that he hopes to have more than 40 teams of five participate in this year’s event. “We’ve already got a great cross section of our business community represented. Last year’s event was a success. We want to build on that.” This is the second year for the Conway Area Chamber’s Bowling for Business event and organizers are counting on a repeat performance of last year’s fun. “Eric Rob & Isaac competed last year as Team Gutter Done and had a blast,” said Rob Bell of Eric Rob & Isaac, a chamber member and advertising agency.
A 2010 Bowling for Business team poses with the Chamber’s “Human Bowling Trophy.” The 2011 Bowling for Business event is July 8th. Contact Mary@conwayarkansas.org for more information.
“Although our bowling prowess doesn’t even come close to our marketing savvy (we designed our own custom bowling shirts and I think kudos are just about as close to a trophy as we came), we can’t wait to hit the lanes again this year with some fantastic Conway businesses.”
The event offers a morning and afternoon “flight” separated by a luncheon for all participants. Conway Family Bowl will be the host site and is also providing traditional bowling alley fare for lunch. “With a morning and afternoon group, the lunch is a unique opportunity for more than two hundred
professionals to interact in a fun and relaxed environment.” said Shaw. This year’s Bowling for Business is sponsored by Verizon and Nokia Siemens Networks. They will have reps on hand to demonstrate the latest in mobile technology and small business applications. To par-
ticipate in the 2011 Bowling for Business on July 8th contact Mary Margaret Satterfield at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce 501.932.5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Five person teams are $200 and individuals may bowl for $50. Lunch is included.
WHAT’S THAT GONNA BE? Renaissance Women’s Center Renaissance Women’s Center will be a full Practice OB/GYN clinic owned and operated by Dr. Michael Wood. Dr. Wood previously practiced in Conway from 1995-2006 taking leave to recover from a medical condition until this year. Dr. Wood was the founding physician of Conway Women’s Health Center. Dr. Wood said the construction of the 9,200 square foot Renaissance Center marks his “official return to the Conway medical community.” The Center will be open Monday-Friday from 8:30a-5p. The center will have space to eventually accommodate three physicians and a nurse practicioner. Where is that? 2300 Robinson Ave. Between Stoby’s and Laurel Park. When will it be open? Sept. 1, 2011. 6 | FAULKNER COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Weather High Temps without Breaking the Bank two smart tips that can help businesses conserve energy, water and money during the heat wave. 1. Install a programmable thermostat. “Programmable thermostats allow you to keep your business at a warmer temperature when no one is there and will automatically lower the temperature during business hours,” said Arnold. “This will result in cost savings without sacrificing the comfort
Unseasonably high temperatures this June have left people wondering just how hot the actual summer will get. With increased temperatures come increased use of air conditioning, which can have a negative effect on budgets and power systems. Richard Arnold, CEO of Conway Corporation, gave
of customers and employees.” 2. Irrigate landscaping in the early morning hours. Watering in the morning, preferably before sunrise, minimizes evaporation and enables the water to soak through the soil to the root systems. “Less evaporation also results in a shorter watering time, which will conserve water and reduce expenses,” said Arnold. Arnold said that to his knowledge, Conway CorporaBe
Beaver Fork Lake
tion has never had to invoke rolling blackouts because of an overloaded transmission system. However, when temperatures are this high throughout the region, the transmission system can be vulnerable. As a distributor of electricity, Conway Corporation must have plans in place for such a contingency. Conway Corporation operates the city-owned electric, 65
water, wastewater and cable utility services for the citizens of Conway. The company has been a part of the Conway community since 1929, when the Conway City Council first franchised the corporation to operate the city’s electric light plant. The water department was placed under Conway Corporation’s operation in 1930, wastewater was added in 1957, and the cable system was added in 1980.
Old Morrilton Hwy
4330 Bayhill Drive
Cadron Valley Country Club
4505 Sawgrass Cove
65 65 64
Centennial Valley Golf Club
Mountain View Park
Laurel Park Conway Country Club
t ak S60
E Oak St 64
E Oak St
1820 College Ave.
Fifth Avenue Park
Airport Park Central Baptist College
4815 Cathedral Highway 60 W
S Salem Rd
Dennis F Cantrell Field
Oak Grove Cemetery
University Of Central Arkansas
Lot 137 & 138
Dave Ward Dr
Caney Brumley 65 S Ar-3
TOP 5 RESIDENTIAL home sales in faulkner county may 2011 4505 Sawgrass Cove Conway $484,000, built in 2003 5 bed, 4.5 bath 4,847 square feet ($99.86/sq. ft.) Tupelo Bayou Site One Reservoir
1820 College Avenue Conway $420,000, built in 1949 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 half bath 4,300 square feet ($97.67/sq. ft.)
Lot 137/138 North Hills Conway $350,032, built in 2011 4 bed, 2.5 bath 2,852 square feet ($122.73/sq. ft.)
4330 Bayhill Drive Conway $325,000, built in 2000 4 bed, 3.5 bath 3,091 square feet ($103.69/sq. ft.)
4815 Cathedral Conway $315,000, built in 2011 4 bed, 3 bath 2,800 square feet ($112.50/sq. ft.)
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June 2011 Faulkner County Business Journal – “Conway Explorer” publication will target high-value households for area businesses