Arkansas: The Land of Opportunity

Believe it or not, Walmart doesn’t own Arkansas. Not entirely anyway. Sure, the world’s largest company generates enough revenue to buy the entire state. Founder Sam Walton may have even considered the prospect too. Instead though, Walmart used its great wealth to help Arkansas succeed in business in ways that benefited everyone. And in so doing gave the state the chance to live up to the nickname “The Land of Opportunity.”

State Pride

Of course Arkansas opportunities are by no means limited to Walmart and the companies that serve the corporate giant. In fact, Mental Floss notes the state prides itself for being the world capital of a variety of things, including quartz (Mount Ida), spinach (Alma), folk music (Mountain View), and archery bow production (Pine Bluff). More significantly perhaps is the level of steel production in Mississippi County, which Invest in USA pegs at the second largest in the nation. Its reach, however, extends around the whole world, with NUCOR, Big River Steel, Geradau, Welspun, and Lexicon among the global companies leading the state’s steel producing brigade.

“Arka”-nomics

Agriculture continues to play an integral role in Arkansas’ increasingly robust economy (though rice has supplanted cotton as the state’s largest crop). Nevertheless, aerospace and defense tops both crops and livestock in the state’s export market. Arkansas’ Economic Development Commission reports 180 companies serving the Aerospace/Defense sector of the state’s economy, including Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, General Dynamics and Dassault Falcon Jet, which has established its largest facility in the world. Why have these companies chosen to do business in Arkansas? Well, largely because of Governor Asa Hutchinson and the state’s congressional delegation’s committed support. They’re also lured by the fact that Arkansas has the third lowest cost of doing business in America, as well as the third lowest cost of living. Furthermore, Arkansas just so happens to be one of 27 Right-to-Work states.

Best Places to Live in Arkansas

Everyone from The Crazy Tourist to Livability to Niche claims Bentonville is Arkansas’ Best Place to Live, despite (or more likely because of) its being homebase to Walmart. There’s virtually no crime to speak of, the cost of living is well below the national average, and (because of Walmart) the town boasts more companies per capita than anywhere else in the nation.

Luxury Market

Bentonville also boasts nearby Centonville and the charmingly-named Little Flock, both of which also made The Crazy Tourist’s Best Places to Live list. Niche also gave high marks for Centonville. In fact, the entire Northwest Arkansas real estate market seems to be outpacing national averages. It also appears to be attracting the kind of executive-level talent local companies require. In fact, the luxury market is so robust that Sotheby’s recently opened up a branch to serve the area, which includes the towns of Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers and Springdale. And this isn’t just any Sotheby’s outpost either. The branch, called Portfolio Luxury Real Estate Redefined, is headed by Kristin Boozman, the daughter of U.S. Senator John Boozman. The timing — and the pedigree — certainly bodes well for the region.

Talent Attraction

“As Northwest Arkansas continues to grow and attract talent from all over the world,” said Boozman, “our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty will enable us to promote our clients and acquire customers on a global scale.”

Indeed. Boozman won’t be the first (or the last) to be banking on Bentonville, or for that matter the aforementioned Rogers either. Rogers, home to the first Walmart, as well as the birthplace and headquarters of Daisy Outdoor Products (of bb gun fame), is ranked among the nation’s fastest growing cities. So is the Rogers-Springdale-Fayetteville Metropolitan Statistical Area itself, which also leads the state. Then again, with both Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt Transport Services joining fellow Fortune 500 company Walmart in the region, it’s only natural to see such dominance in The Natural State.

Arkansas boasts three more Fortune 500 companies (Murphy USA, which owns and operates all the Walmart store gas stations; Dillard’s, a department store chain; and Windstream Holdings, a communications company), as well as two that made the Fortune 1000 (ArcBest, a logistics company and Murphy Oil, original parent of Murphy USA). Add those to the vast array of aerospace and defense industry companies there’s undoubtedly more big wins in store for Arkansas. That’s what we at Big Win see anyway. But don’t just take our word for it. Take theirs. Because two of those 180 thriving aerospace companies just recently recruited Big Win to help them make their move into the Land of Opportunity!

If you or your company is looking to relocate to Arkansas or any one of the other contiguous 48 states, Big Win Moving would be honored to make the move for you. One call and we’ll put together an all-encompassing plan that will cover every imaginable detail — and then some!

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Photo by ELTON MENEFEE  |Photo by Claud Richmond  | Photos by H.White