Arkansas Business City of Distinction 2011

Nominate Your City > Arkansas enjoys a diversity of geography and scenery - even of climate - that's fairly unique. It's a diversity not found anywhere, and it helps define our state. One might expect to find diverse cultures nestled among our mountains, prairies, forests and wetlands, and certainly, lifestyles in Arkansas can vary from Fayetteville to El Dorado and points in between. The farming families of the Delta know the land in a different way than the descendants of those who settled the hardscrabble hills and valleys of the Ouachitas and Ozarks.

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Land of Opportunity Still Exists Around Cities of Distinction (From the Publisher)

An independent panel of judges has recognized cities, large and small, for their commitment to improving the lives of their citizens and the health of their communities. Whether by building sidewalks, renovating town squares or using technology to bring history alive to tourists, the communities have shown a commitment to improvement and a vision for the future. read more >

Little Rock's New Sidewalks Provide Paths to the Future (Workforce Development | Winner, 20,000+)

An employment program for felons freed from prison leads Little Rock to win the 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction Workforce Development category for cities with populations of more than 20,000. read more >

Fayetteville Looking Ahead With Green Jobs Training Center (Workforce Development | Honorable Mention, 20,000+)

Fayetteville was thinking ahead when it led an effort resulting in the creation of the Fayetteville Center of Excellence for green job training. The center is administered by NorthWest Arkansas Community College, but the road to its creation was paved by the city of Fayetteville, led by a partnership of public and private officials who secured the federal funds to make it happen. read more >

City Leads the Way in Lake Village's Main Street Rebirth (Main Street Preservation | Winner, Fewer than 5,000)

Lake Village's commitment to revitalizing downtown and the example it set with the renovation of the Tushek Building earned the city a 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction Award for Main Street Preservation in cities of fewer than 5,000 people. read more >

Siloam Springs Gets Downtown Jumpin' Again (Main Street Preservation | Winner, Between 5,000-20,000)

Since 2010, a nonprofit organization called Main Street Siloam Springs, in conjunction with the city and local community leaders, has led a downtown revival. Eight major rehab and restoration projects have pumped an estimated $6.3 million into vacant and under-utilized buildings downtown. read more >

Classic Downtown McCrory Gets Fresh Looks (Main Street Preservation | Honorable Mention, Fewer than 5,000)

McCrory holds on to its humble roots, but also works hard to keep the community alive and thriving in the 21st century. Its downtown area was added to the Arkansas Historical Register in 2010, but visitors shouldn't expect a business center looking like it's seen better days. Instead, they'll see a downtown center that has been recognized for its Main Street Preservation as a 2013 City of Distinction for populations fewer than 5,000. read more >

Paragould's 'One and Only' Downtown Springs Alive (Main Street Preservation | Winner, 20,000+)

Main Street Paragould, a nonprofit incorporation, aids the growth of Paragould's burgeoning downtown district by assisting investors with opening new businesses, promoting those businesses, acting as a conduit between the local government and private investors, networking with other Main Street programs and even helping put on a zombie parade. read more >

Fayetteville Transforms Block Avenue into Destination (Main Street Preservation | Honorable Mention, 20,000+)

Block Avenue (which includes three National Historic Register sites) is home to new shops, new trees, vintage street lights and wider, brick-lined sidewalks. Fayetteville's re-imagining of Block Avenue earned it recognition as a 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction in the Main Street Preservation category. read more >

Improved Roads in Carlisle Still Reach City's Heart (Quality of Life | Winner, Fewer than 5,000)

A new highway provides benefits for both residents and visitors. Residents see less traffic on their city streets and their families are safer. Visitors enjoy getting from point A to point B a little faster. It's one example of why Carlisle was selected as the winner of the 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction Quality of Life category for cities with a population fewer than 5,000. read more >

Ridgeway's Renovation Gives Monticello Seniors Place To Check In (Winner | Quality of Life, Between 5,000-20,000)

The Ridgeway Hotel Renovation Project brought new life to downtown Monticello. It improved the look of the area and one of its oldest properties. It provided a new centralized home for senior citizens to live independently with amenities within walking distance. It introduced a new customer base to businesses downtown. Finally, the project has inspired other dilapidated properties to be transformed. read more >

Magnolia Blossoms to New Heights (Quality of Life | Honorable Mention, Between 5,000-20,000)

Magnolia entices visitors to come with a bustling downtown not seen in many other small towns across the region. It successfully promotes itself with events like the Magnolia Blossom Festival and the nationally-recognized Championship Steak Cook-off and keeps people returning with recent additions such as the Magnolia Arts Building. Add in the city's numerous parks and walking trails, and you'll see why people are still coming to Magnolia. read more >

Camden Crowds Stream to ‘Movies on the River' (Quality of Life | Honorable Mention, Between 5,000-20,000)

Like any good film, there's more to Camden's “Movies on the River” project than what people see on the screen. Going behind the scenes of what's brought people in Camden together shows a city that has endured hardships and continues to provide its residents with a high quality of life for a town of its size. read more >

New Children's Library Offers Much Potential for Little Rock (Quality of Life | Winner, 20,000+)

The Hillary Clinton Children's Library and Learning Center, opened in the spring of 2013 just off the 12th Street corridor in central Little Rock, represents not just another notch in the Central Arkansas Library System belt. read more >

Jonesboro Grows with Healthy Population (Quality of Life | Honorable Mention, 20,000+)

Jonesboro continues to be one of Arkansas' fast-growing cities. Arkansas State University, St. Bernards Medical Center and other job providers help attract people, but the amenities scattered across the city are what keeps the population of 67,000 (as of this writing) in one place. read more >

Eureka Springs Is Many Things, Including (and Especially) Green (Green Initiatives | Winner, Fewer than 5,000)

Eureka Springs is enthusiastically green. It is the oldest continuous Tree City USA community in Arkansas, and its 2012 implementation of a storm water management system is the latest example of its focus on stewardship. The Cardinal Spring Wetland Demonstration Project for the city's Harmon Park is helping the city's watershed plus educating its residents on the benefits of conservation. read more >

Bryant Neighborhoods Pull Together, Go Green (Green Initiatives | Winner, Between 5,000-20,000)

Efforts in Bryant to make the city “Go Green” has paid off for everyone with lower waste costs, better communication and a cleaner environment. The success has paid off with Bryant winning the 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction Green Initiatives category for cities of its population size. read more >

Hybrid Patrol Cars, Waste Reduction at Core of Arkadelphia Initiatives (Green Initiatives | Honorable Mention, Between 5,000-20,000)

While many towns are shrinking their budgets and looking for ways to cut spending, the city of Arkadelphia -- a town of more than 10,000 -- has made heavy investments in its sustainability practices. read more >

Searcy Sees Conservation as Smart Business (Green Initiatives | Winner, 20,000+)

Searcy is focused on reducing its overall carbon footprint. To jump-start its efforts, the Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce developed a special initiative called “Searcy Energy Smart” with help from a committee made up of 38 community leaders, representatives from the state energy office and the University of Arkansas. read more >

Fayetteville Takes Action to Clean Up Its Water (Green Initiatives | Honorable Mention, 20,000+)

When a 2009 study of the Beaver Lake Watershed in Northwest Arkansas by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality revealed potential sources of pollution originating from Fayetteville, the city took action. read more >

Marion Brings All Hands on Deck for Sultana Exhibit (Tourism | Winner, Between 5,000-20,000)

A 19th century disaster becomes the focus of a historical exhibit bringing visitors in the 21st century to Marion. For that success, the eastern Arkansas city is the winner in the 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction Tourism Development category for cities between 5,000 and 20,000 people. read more >

Harrison Bikers Enjoy New Kinds of 'Hog' Trails (Tourism | Honorable Mention, Between 5,000-20,000)

Located in the Ozark Mountains, Harrison is a central hub for travelers heading to Eureka Springs, the Buffalo National River or Branson, Mo. The city has utilized its location and natural beauty to promote a number of motorcycle routes branching from its center, giving riders scenic memories of their time in the Natural State. read more >

Russellville Fishes for Niche, Hits Jackpot (Tourism | Winner, 20,000+)

The city's efforts to highlight Lake Dardanelle as a national fishing destination have earned it a 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction award. Specifically, Russellville is a winner in the Tourism Development category for cities of more than 20,000 people. read more >

History Hits Home on Hot Springs Baseball Trail (Tourism | Honorable Mention, 20,000+)

Combining two qualities it knows best, sports and history, Hot Springs has added another attraction to its bullpen full of fun things to do. Linking together 26 historical markers with the latest digital technology, baseball fans can now dig deep into a rich and mostly unknown tale of their favorite sport on the Hot Springs Baseball Trail. read more >

Lakeview Upgrades Technology to Boost Police Force (Technology Advancements | Winner, Fewer than 5,000)

Lakeview has taken steps to put itself on the cutting edge of technology and to support its police department. Those efforts have earned the city recognition as a 2013 Arkansas Business City of Distinction. Specifically, Lakeview is a winner in the Technology Advancements category for cities under 5,000. read more >

Community Connections in Bryant Convenient With Tech Plan (Technology Advancements | Winner, Between 5,000-20,000)

In Bryant, city leaders took steps to make their government more accessible, connected and cost-effective. The desired result of a city-wide, fully integrated communication system more responsive to the community has been fulfilled. read more >

Hot Springs Measuring Meters in Innovative Ways (Technology Advancements | Winner, 20,000+)

When the city of Hot Springs decided to retire its antiquated water meters, the goal was to get rid of equipment that was no longer efficient. City workers researched the alternatives and decided an automated metering infrastructure (AMI) was what was going to keep Spa City from getting all wet. While this primary objective was met in the initial process, Hot Springs discovered more benefits in the project than just keeping real-time tabs on customer water usage. read more >

Fayetteville Uses Brainstorming, Teamwork to Overhaul City Website (Technology Advancements | Honorable Mention, 20,000+)

The city of Fayetteville has been recognized in recent years for its local government website. In 2013, Fayetteville was ranked No. 2 on the Center for Digital Government list of top city government websites for cities fewer than 75,000 people. That's up from No. 7 in 2011. read more >

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