Thursday, September 3, 2015

FREE Small Business Conference THIS FRIDAY 9/4

Quick links:
Conference Agenda
Online Registration (Free, but Encouraged)

The Arkansas Human Development Corporation, with assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, has partnered with public and private organizations to hold a regional conference designed to support and grow small businesses in Northeast Arkansas. This event will bring together approximately twenty private sector, state, federal and nonprofit organizations with a singular mission of equipping small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills and resources to start and expand their businesses. This forum is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and hosted by the Arkansas Human Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Arkansas Northeastern College, Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission and the Arkansas State University Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC).

The conference will be held Friday, September 4, 2015 from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm at the Holiday Inn - Blytheville, 1121 Main Street, Blytheville, AR 72315. Topics will include but are not limited to, building effective partnerships, securing capital, how to sell goods and services to the government, social media, and disaster relief for small businesses.

Join us at 8:30 am for a Continental Breakfast featuring a “Lenders Roundtable,” where participants will network with local, regional and statewide lenders. Organizations invited to participate include Arkansas Capital Corporation Group, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Communities Unlimited, Farmers Bank and Trust, LiftFund, Southern Bancorp, USDA – Rural Development, Eastern Arkansas Planning and Development District…and MORE! Lunch will also be provided.

Aspiring and current business owners, youth entrepreneurs, veterans and community and economic development professionals, are invited to attend this unique opportunity. You will interact with lenders, and following the breakfast, receive help with research and business planning, learn how to increase your networking results and learn to do more business with government and private industry. Luncheon guest speaker is Ms. Carolyn Parker, Director, Office of Outreach and Advocacy and former Director of Business & Industry Programs USDA – Rural Development, Washington, DC.

Do not miss the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge and tips that will help your small business GROW! Let’s all come together to BUILD ARKANSAS!


You may register by calling (800) 482-7641 Arkansas Human Development Corporation
or online at

Press release submitted by
Arkansas Human Development Corporation
Clevon Young


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Delta Bridge Project to Host Poverty Simulation

The Mississippi County Delta Bridge project is excited to present Living on the Edge: Taking a Look at Poverty, a free poverty simulation designed to teach how to help those living in poverty by truly understanding their difficulties. The event will take place Wednesday, September 9, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the ANC Governors Ballroom located in Statehouse Hall on the main campus in Blytheville, AR.

During this interactive learning process, participants will be given roles within family units to perform day-to-day tasks, such as sending children to school, going to or finding work, paying bills, accessing community resources, buying groceries, interacting with financial institutions, and more. At the end of the training, a debriefing session will link participants' experiences to the realities of Mississippi County citizens living in poverty.

Following the workshop portion, a community panel discussion titled “Where Do We Go From Here?” will feature a host of Mississippi County citizens and community leaders and experts from around the state and the nation to begin the conversation on how Mississippi County can engage in collective impact strategies to assist under-resourced citizens to make the journey from poverty to prosperity

For more information, call 870-838-2920. For full details or to register online, visit

Quick Links:
Facebook event page
Full info & online registration

This community engagement workshop is hosted in partnership with Arkansas Northeastern College, Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Mississippi County Arkansas E.O.C., and Great River Economic Development Foundation and a host of community sponsors.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Chamber to Relaunch Leadership Academy

The Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the return of a
program that will enrich the local workforce and professional community.

The Leadership Academy of Osceola and South Mississippi County is slated to launch in September, after a nine year hiatus. "We have a lot of new people in leadership positions or on their way there, so the time is right to bring it back," said Chamber Director Ammi Tucker. The goal of the academy is to help identify and strengthen those that have community leadership potential, as well as help local businesses and industries cultivate potential leaders and increase opportunities to promote from within.

The Academy will take place in one day-long meeting per month from September through December, and culminate with a day trip to Little Rock in early 2016. Each session will be interactive, hands-on, and designed to equip participants with the tools that will better prepare them for leadership opportunities within the community as well as their organization or company. In a new twist to the program, sessions will be held at various locations in communities throughout South Mississippi County to help make participants more aware of the people, places, and resources in our area.

The Chamber is striving to keep the Leadership Academy rich in content yet still accessible. The tuition fee is $350 per participant and includes meals and snacks, program materials, transportation & meal during the Little Rock visit planned for early 2016. A discounted tuition per participant is available if any company wishes to enroll three or more employees. Also, a limited number of scholarships may be awarded to businesses or nonprofit organizations with 10 or fewer employees.

Sessions begin Wednesday, September 2, and the deadline for applications is Friday, August 28, 2015.  For more information about the Leadership Academy, or to inquire about sponsor and partnership opportunities, contact Ammi Tucker at 870-563-2281 or

Helpful quick links:

Osceola/SMC Chamber Offers Educator Incentives

Attracting and retaining educators to the Delta is a challenge, and the Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce education committee is taking strides to help show appreciation and reward local educators for their excellent work in our local schools.

Starting this academic year, the Osceola/SMC Chamber will recognize three Educators of the Quarter: one each from Osceola School District, Rivercrest School District, and Arkansas Northeastern College. From those that will accumulate over four quarters, an Educator of the Year will be selected.  In addition to the recognition, recipients will also receive monetary awards.

The nomination process will be conducted online, and is open to anyone that wishes to recommend an individual for consideration. Anyone that is employed at either of the three institutions is eligible for nomination, regardless of title, accolades, length of employment, or level of education. “It is an educator award, not exclusive to teachers or instructors, as all school employees have a direct impact on student success,” says Chamber Director Ammi Tucker. “It may be a bus driver that keeps a student encouraged to continue school, or a cafeteria staff member that holds conversations to keep them academically accountable. Every school employee matters.”

A perfect attendance bonus will also be awarded to eligible teachers at Osceola and Rivercrest Schools on a semester basis.

In addition to these awards, the Chamber coordinated with Osceola Municipal Light and Power to help encourage relocation to the area.  As a result, any employee of the three schools that is getting a new utility connection with OML&P is eligible for a waived utility deposit after providing proof of employment and residence. “We want our local educators to live close and be a part of the communities,” says Tucker. “Student accountability and development of a positive bond with their teachers is much more probable when they see them outside of school, too, such as at the grocery store, at community events, or at the gas station.”

For more information about the Chamber’s educator incentives, or if you or your company would like to partner with the Chamber in making these awards possible, contact Ammi Tucker at 870-563-2281 or

Helpful quick links:
Link to Nominate Educator of the Quarter
Osceola/SMC Chamber Initiatives information