ASBTDC to start ‘Smart Growth’ accelerator in NEA

by George Jared ([email protected]) 291 views 

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) is kicking off a multi-year project to help small businesses in Craighead, Crittenden and Mississippi counties grow. As part of the effort, the center is launching the “Smart Growth” accelerator.

The program will assist established businesses with completing and implementing a strategic growth plan.

“Thinking strategically about the future will give business owners insights that will increase their confidence and help them make informed decisions,” said Laura Fine, ASBTDC state director. “We are pleased to offer this accelerator to existing businesses to position them for growth.”

Up to 10 businesses from each county will be selected for the Smart Growth accelerator, which will be offered free of charge through the ASBTDC office at Arkansas State University. The ASU center will also offer other types of specialized support for existing businesses in the three counties at no cost.

For example, small businesses in the three-county area that have been open at least a year can request a customized target market summary. The summary combines customer demographic, lifestyle and spending data with map-based analytics, giving businesses deeper knowledge about their customer base.

“This information helps businesses better understand local market opportunities and customer characteristics to help them refine who they are targeting,” said Laura Miller, director of the ASU office. “Market research is an important part of the consulting services we offer.”

Miller said her team would be partnering with many local collaborators to assist businesses in the three counties, including the Delta Center for Economic Development, East Arkansas Planning and Development District and the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce in Craighead County; Arkansas State University Mid-South, Delta Cuisine and Marion Chamber of Commerce in Crittenden County; and Great River Economic Development Mississippi County and the Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce in Mississippi County.

“We are looking forward to working with businesses in these counties to help them map a plan for growth,” Miller said.

For more information, contact Miller at (870) 680-8138 or [email protected].

The project is funded by a renewable Portable Assistance Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.