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.


Brand new industrial prospect activity has been unusually slow this summer. That’s generally held true across the state as well as here in Jefferson County.


In a global economy, trade tensions abroad can have a ripple effect in the U.S. as investors take a wait-and-see position. Within this country, corporate executives and decision-makers are carefully weighing every decision. But that’s nothing new.


Despite the absence of a large number of new prospect leads of late, there are projects in the works locally. That includes several existing industries that are seriously contemplating expansions, and at least two “in-the-works” projects that are almost ready to make public announcements.


Other industrial projects, which have already been announced, continue to move forward toward new construction and new jobs.


And a good list of prospective projects from the past few years continue to hold promise as they routinely reactivate and request updated information about the local community or a particular site. To the Economic Development Alliance staff, a “suspended” project means there is still a possibility of gaining the jobs and capital investments.


In the interim between manufacturing project announcements, the county thankfully is experiencing considerable new commercial construction that is pouring millions of dollars into the local economy.


Although the Alliance’s primary economic development focus is industrial in nature, it is proud to support—and promote—the commercial growth currently being experienced here.


The community is working together for community betterment. And it will take a combined effort to see red-hot results (even when the summer’s sizzling).