July 12, 2024

The Chief Mag

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Rural Business Development Conference coming to Camden | Business

2 min read

Providing small and emerging business owners in rural communities with the innovative skills, tools, and contacts needed to create and grow their enterprises is one of the goals for a regional business conference to be held in Camden.

“Reimagining Rural Arkansas: Pathways to Growth and Success” is the theme for the 2024 Southwest Arkansas Rural Business Development Conference.

The conference is funded by the Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC) and USDA RD, with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

It will bring together approximately 20 private, quasi-state, state, federal and non-profit organizations to provide participants with needed resources to grow their existing businesses and support their local communities.

Partners in the conference include the Arkansas APEX Accelerator, Camden Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ouachita Partnership for Economic Development, Southern Arkansas University-Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center, and more.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 27 via Zoom and in-person.

In-person participation will be limited to 75 at the conference site, located on the campus of Camden’s First United Methodist Church, 121 Harrison Street, Camden.

Topics will include building strategic partnerships, evaluating and securing capital, obtaining technical assistance for small businesses, and selling goods and services to the government and corporate sector.

The event will start at 8:30 a.m. with a “Breakfast with the Lenders Roundtable,” where conference participants will network with local, regional and statewide lenders.

Among participants will be the Arkansas Capital Corporation Group, Communities Unlimited, FORGE Community Loan Fund, Generations Bank, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and USDA Rural Development-Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program.

The roundtable will be led by Christian Pennington, Lender Relations Specialist, SBA.

Esperanza Massana-Crane, director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, will be the luncheon speaker.

CLICK HERE to register online. There is no fee.

CLICK HERE for the conference Zoom registration.

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