Fort Smith Regional Alliance Promotes Itself as Hub of Commerce

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 12:00 am  

Interstate 40 passes through the Fort Smith region as it connects the two coasts of the U.S. I-540 stretches 90 miles north to Bentonville. Coming soon, I-49 will provide a direct route between New Orleans and Canada, making Fort Smith an important stop along the way.

The Fort Smith Regional Alliance brings together companies and communities on both sides of the Arkansas-Oklahoma stateline to compete as one team for national and global economic development.

The FSRA is a collaborative organization of Arkansas and Oklahoma communities within a 50 mile radius of Fort Smith. Eight counties (Arkansas: Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Sebastian, Scott and Oklahoma: LeFlore and Sequoyah) and 14 communities are represented in the FSRA. The region has a population of more than 353,000.

The benefits to working together are strong. The alliance helps foster better legislative relationships – in either statehouse or in the nation’s capital. It combines key influential entities in the region into one network. It unites all regional resources to better the overall regional product. These resources include collaboration with chambers, municipalities, counties, state agencies, legislators (federal, state and local), higher education, economic development professionals, RITA, WAPDD, Chaffee Redevelopment Authority and the I-49 Coalition.

Communities within the FSRA are aggressive with local incentives when the opportunity arises. The importance of local support and incentives in attracting business has proven to benefit the region as a whole. Whether it is by providing temporary office space or housing, expansions to parking facilities, infrastructure, training or utilities, the FSRA is prepared to work with prospective companies to accommodate their needs.



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