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A Few of My Favorite Things (Lance Turner Editor’s Note)

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You’re reading the final regular issue of Arkansas Business of 2022, which includes a look back at the top stories of the year. 

We look back in several ways — the Top 10, the Best & Worst, our favorite quotes — but many good stories miss the cut. So before we close the book on an eventful year, here are a few of my overlooked favorites from 2022.

Arkansas Cash Fills Skylines Out of State, March 14: Several Arkansas banks — Bank OZK of Little Rock, Simmons Bank of Pine Bluff, Arvest Bank of Fayetteville — are financing high-profile commercial projects in major cities across the country. It’s fun to think that Bank OZK, for example, is helping shape the iconic skyline of New York City through an $800 million loan to build a 69-story, 127-unit condo tower in Manhattan.

Counting on Cannabis, April 4: The start of Arkansas’ legal marijuana industry has been rocky, but entrepreneurial stories like that of Abaca of North Little Rock, which provides financial technology services to cannabis companies, are inspiring. Adding to the shine: Abaca sold for $30 million in October, but will continue operating with its current staff in Argenta.

Bitcoin Hubs Bask in Entergy’s Glow, Sept. 5: Who would have thought that Arkansas suddenly would be home to bitcoin mining operations owned by three startups? This offbeat business even earned a special electric rate from Entergy Arkansas.

Big Ideas for Downtown, Sept. 5: Little Rock has a big opportunity to redevelop 20 acres of downtown land that will be left open by the $1.15 billion 30 Crossing project. Local architects presented ambitious plans for how to do so in August — everything from innovative, well-lit green space and athletics fields to retail and residential buildings along a dazzling canal. Will local leaders seize the moment?

Now 30, LifePlus Starts to Bulk Up, Oct. 10: A Batesville company you probably never heard of — until our cover story — is mounting a multimillion-dollar expansion of its dietary supplements and nutritional products that are a hit in Europe. LifePlus International broke ground this month, aiming to hire 150 people within five years. 

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Next week, subscribers will receive the Book of Lists, our updated compilation of selected lists from the previous year. On Jan. 2, the Executive Q&A issue, containing some of our favorite interviews from 2022, will land in mailboxes. Our next regular issue is Jan. 9.

It’s been another heavy year for businesses in Arkansas, which have struggled with historic inflation and continuing difficulties in hiring and retaining employees. We hope that Arkansas Business has been helpful to you in some way — by reporting news you can’t get anywhere else, sharing new ideas or introducing you to key people — to make a meaningful difference in how you do business.

We appreciate you for reading and subscribing. Have a happy and safe holiday, and we’ll see you in 2023.


Lance Turner is the editor of Arkansas Business.
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