At a time businesses are facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three local communities are getting help with their retail strategy.The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD) has been awarded a Rural Business Development Grant from USDA-Rural Development. Through this grant, NWAEDD will partner with Retail Strategies, LLC of Birmingham, Alabama, to offer its Retail Academy course to six communities across Northwest Arkansas.
The six communities include Mountain Home, Marshall and Harrison.
Joe Willis, executive director for the economic development district, says the effort to secure grant funding for the Retail Strategies initiative has been underway for about a year. The funding just happened to come at an opportune time.
Willis says district officials have heard from its member cities for a number of years asking for support like what will be offered from Retail Strategies.
Willis says the initiative with Retail Strategies kicked up in early October and will continue over the next year, with each community set to receive about six weeks of individual attention. He says the effort is twofold.
Willis says Retail Strategies officials directed the selected communities on who should be part of the training.
David L. Branscum, USDA-Rural Development state director of Arkansas says, “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is a strong partner to rural communities, because we know that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
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