Editor’s Note: “The Economic Development Side” originally appears in the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce’s weekly member e-newsletter. It is written by Rhonda Dishner, the Economic Development Alliance’s executive assistant.


The inspiration for this column came from a Sunday school lesson.


The point was being made to wait patiently, while doing good, and have faith (hope). The writer wasn’t suggesting that one thing was better than the other but rather that doing all three together was a better way.


Doing good is relatively easy, and hope is a constant state of mind for many. But the patience part is hard work.


Taken together, they sound a lot like the formula for successful economic development. Work, hope and wait. One does the work — responding to requests for information, marketing the assets, and answering phone calls and emails — while hoping that the community has just the right stuff to be singled out for new investments.


Then comes the wait.


The Alliance’s economic development team is currently in the waiting phase on several projects. All correspondence seemed to point to several imminent project decisions by corporate executives or potential announcements. And then came notices revealing that “this” or “that” project has been delayed for 30, 60 or 90 days.


“But your community is still in the running,” the emails repeat, so there is still hope while the local team waits.


Meanwhile, the daily work continues here. That means promoting the community’s assets and supporting ongoing betterment efforts. And standing at the ready to see the new projects become reality.


As mentioned earlier, having patience is difficult. The working and hoping continues each and every week. Hopefully, the waiting pays off — soon.