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By Rhonda Dishner | Feb 5, 2020

A little rain last year didn’t prevent Pine Bluff’s port public terminal from breaking a 15-year record for total tonnage moved through the facility.

Of course, in reality, “a little” translates to record-setting rainfall and high water in 2019 that halted traffic for weeks on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Despite that interruption, the local public terminal handled a total of 152,893 tons of inbound commodities--making 2019’s throughput the best since 2005.

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By Rhonda Dishner | Jun 6, 2019

Too. Much. Water.

Whether falling down in torrents from the skies or surging violently down the Arkansas River, too much water has been drenching this community in recent months.

And, yes, these crises of excess water do relate to economic and community development. But in a negative way because they are hindering development.

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By Rhonda Dishner | May 28, 2019

L&R Distributors, Inc., one of the first companies approved for local economic development sales tax incentive funds by the Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County, has officially fulfilled the terms of its installment contract with the corporation.

While in Pine Bluff visiting local operations, the company’s corporate controller, Edward Musantry, signed the release documents on May 23 at the Economic Development Alliance, which serves as the corporation’s services administrator.

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By Rhonda Dishner | May 20, 2019

There was an added incentive for local plant managers and manufacturing executives to go to an early morning meeting last Wednesday.

The meeting: The regular May gathering of the Jefferson County Manufacturing Council (JCMC) held at the Economic Development Alliance, which sponsors the group.

The incentive: A discussion of available incentives--state incentives that is--for companies looking to expand their facilities in Jefferson County.

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By Rhonda Dishner | Apr 4, 2019

A good crowd of members, along with several guests, attended the March 20 meeting of the Jefferson County Manufacturing Council (JCMC) held at the Economic Development Alliance.

Although it was spring break and a few members were out of town, the scheduled program may have contributed to attendance. Many were there to hear an update on the $3.5 billion gas-to-liquid (GTL) processing facility to be built in northern Jefferson County by Energy Security Partners (ESP).

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By Rhonda Dishner | May 22, 2018

This column was activated by a phone call.

The businessman on the other end of the call was an out-of-state executive whose company is thinking about buying a commercial property in Pine Bluff. He needed confirmation that it would be a good investment but his search on the Internet wasn’t encouraging. Pretty much all he could pull up had a negative tone, and he wondered where to find positive news about the community.

Fortunately, he called the Alliance. After just five minutes....

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