Marketing Little Rock has never been easier, says Little Rock Regional Chamber President and CEO Jay Chesshir.
The chamber is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and recently unveiled a new logo and slightly altered name to mark the milestone. The chamber is just that now. No more “of Commerce.” Sleek and modern, just how chamber officials want the city to be seen.
Part of the chamber’s focus is helping promote a downtown that’s emerging as a true residential neighborhood as well as a hot spot for tech startups.
“With our evolution in entrepreneurial, cultural, corporate, tech and residential growth, marketing metro Little Rock to prospective new businesses and talent has become much more dynamic,” Chesshir said. “Today’s most wanted resource is talented people. When you combine new creative work opportunities, proven entrepreneurial processes, and a place where people want to live, work, play and learn, really exciting things begin to happen.”
Chesshir said recent progress — including the development of the Little Rock Technology Park, the Creative Corridor and Financial Quarter and more River Market growth — is the result of hard work that starts with a vision.
“What we now see is the result of years of private/public strategic development,” he said. “Place-making doesn’t just happen, and the Little Rock Regional Chamber has been committed to it for 150 years now.”
A look at some chamber numbers:
- Chamber membership now represents more than 150,000 full-time and 17,000 part-time employees;
- More than 30,000 people took part in chamber activities last year;
- Since 2005, the city has seen 130 company projects representing 14,232 new jobs, $490 million in payroll and $2.1 billion in new capital investment; and
- The chamber counts itself as the oldest association in Arkansas, fifth-oldest business/organization in the region and 14th-oldest business/organization in the state.