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Regional Economic Development Alliance

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The Fort Smith Regional Alliance, which was formed earlier this year, has launched a comprehensive regional economic development strategic planning project designed to position the area to successfully assist existing businesses and compete for new quality jobs in the 21st Century economy. Boyette Strategic Advisors (BSA), an economic development and public policy consulting firm based in Little Rock, has been engaged to develop the plan.

The strategic economic development blueprint will guide economic development efforts in the Fort Smith region over the next five years.  This project includes a thorough assessment of the region’s unique assets, which will be obtained through both qualitative and quantitative research; a determination of the targeted business sectors that are the best fit for the region; and development of strategic recommendations in the areas of business development, collaborative partnerships, competitive business climate, infrastructure, and workforce development.

“This effort will provide a comprehensive look at how our region is prepared to compete over the next five years, states Lea Taylor, Fort Smith Regional Alliance.  “It will help us confirm positive attributes of the region and identify opportunities to enhance our resources and improve our competitiveness.”

Recommendations for the strategic blueprint will be developed based on regional stakeholder interviews and group discussions, thorough research into successful economic development organizations and practices, an online community survey, and consideration of the region’s existing resources and opportunities.

Input from area residents will be a critical component of this study as BSA seeks to understand the economic development challenges and opportunities in the Fort Smith region.  Residents have the opportunity to participate in the study through an online survey, which can be accessed at: http://boyette-sa.fortsmithsurvey.sgizmo.com.

“This survey takes only a few minutes to complete, and we need a broad range of participants who are willing to share their perspectives on how to best position the Fort Smith region to compete for high quality jobs,” said Del Boyette of BSA.

The Fort Smith Regional Alliance includes six counties in Arkansas – Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Sebastian and Scott – and two counties in Oklahoma – LeFlore and Sequoyah.  BSA is an economic development, public policy and communication strategy firm with more than 85 years of cumulative experience helping communities, organizations, companies and governments accomplish their strategic objectives.

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