Huge decade for business, jobs in central Arkansas city
In a down economy, at least one Arkansas city is thriving by adding new businesses and jobs.
Over a span of 10 years Conway has averaged almost 100 new businesses each year. It's pretty remarkable when you consider the state of our economy recently
With a mix of various revenues in the city of Conway, its been able to fade the majority of the nation's recession by showing a trickle down from big corporations to small business.
"We've seen growth really not just in a number of sectors, but in businesses of every size," said Jamie Gates, Vice President of the Conway Chamber of Commerce.
From 2000 to 2010 8,000 new jobs hit the Conway market, not all from big industries settling in Faulkner County. It's believed those companies that decided to call central Arkansas its new home also sparked smaller business.
"To bring in some of these big named companies as well like the HPs and some of those bigger companies that provide a great economic flow for people to do businesses like mine," said Mike Hesson with Conway founded Lynn's Automotive Group.
Hesson told us this boom has opened the door for the company to expand from just selling cars, to also selling used parts and metal recycling.
"There was a real need for people having to drive to Jacksonville, Russellville," Hesson added. "So we saw that if we put that here we could serve our local people, keep that money in our economy, and everybody wins in the end."
Concerning the jobs that are coming into the area, they're also providing a nice increase in the average pay.
"As we lost jobs, the jobs that we brought back and added to they were high paying," Gates said. "They were in sectors that are in high-demand and that offer a higher salary."
The Conway Chamber of Commerce reports a jump from $492 to $722 in average weekly wages.
In the same ten year span, even Faulkner County added nearly a thousand businesses of its own. It's up to around 2,700 hundred overall employing 40,000 people.