Competitive Strengths of Clark County
Available Customer Base with Buying Power
Clark County has demographic characteristics which may be attractive to companies in the retail industry such as a population of 22,700 in the county and a population of nearly 350,000 within a 50-mile radius of Arkadelphia, an average household income of $44,068, and a median age of 32.7.
Arkadelphia is located along Interstate 30, about halfway between Little Rock and Texarkana with an annual traffic flow of 10 million vehicles
Clark County is also home to two universities, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, which have a combined enrollment of more than 5,000 students. Students at the universities provide a "ready made" customer base for new retail stores that locate in Clark County.
Tourists are another major customer base for retail locating in Clark County. DeGray Lake is a 13,400-acre prime vacation and weekend getaway within 10 minutes of Arkadelphia. Situated among ridges of the Ouachita Mountains and formed by a dam across the Caddo River, the lake has more than 700 campsites, ranging from full hook-ups to primitive, and some 15 boat-launching ramps on its shores. DeGray Lake is popular for fishing, camping, swimming, water-skiing and other water sports. It is estimated that from July 2008 to June 2009, more than 451,000 visitors came to DeGray Lake.
Clark County is located off of Interstate 30 and retail developments located near this interstate could potentially capture traveler spending.
United States Highway 67 and Arkansas State Highway 7 also cross the county.
Skilled and Educated Workforce
Clark County has a total labor force of more than 10,000 people and there is a labor force of more than 91,000 within a 50-mile radius of Arkadelphia.
Approximately 57 percent of residents in Arkadelphia and 45 percent of residents in Clark County hold an Associate, Bachelor or Graduate degree or have attended some college classes.
Henderson State University (HSU) in Arkadelphia has an enrollment of more than 3,600 students and grants Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees.
Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia is a four-year liberal arts college which has an enrollment of approximately 1,450 students.
Both HSU and OBU could provide a source of qualified workers for retail stores, including both recent graduates for full-time positions and students who are still enrolled for part-time positions.
Low Cost of Doing Business
CNBC's 2013 "Top States for Doing Business Report" ranked Arkansas as the state with the 4th lowest cost of doing business.
The Clark County Industrial Park, located on U.S. Highway 67, approximately five miles south of Arkadelphia, covers 313 acres and is developed for industry with sites from 4.5 acres to 26.5 acres.
Leadership Clark County was established by the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance & Area Chamber of Commerce pursuant to one of the goals of the Clark County Strategic Plan.
The Business Retention & Expansion program of the Alliance focuses on facilitating job growth of existing business and industry and retaining jobs due to possible downsizing or relocation.