#21 Arkansas

From the Governor

“Arkansas has the tools in place to be a leader in entrepreneurism…. Our goal is to have a micro-hub of technology companies in the state. Whether we talk about coding, blockchain or cybersecurity, Arkansans want to be innovators. We want to be on the cutting edge of this and continue investing in it.” —Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Metals and Manufacturing

The Natural State continues to elevate its profile as a growing hub for tech and manufacturing. Arkansas has seen considerable investments from Chinese companies in recent years, as well as from domestic manufacturers. Gränges announced a $26 million investment in its Newport operations; Aerojet Rocketdyne is investing $50 million in an expansion of its facility near Camden; and Calstrip Industries is preparing to break ground on a steel processing plant in Mississippi County, one of the top steel-producing areas in the nation.

Key Contacts

Economic Development Commission

Mike Preston, Executive Director
900 West Capitol Avenue Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201

Key Incentives

Advantage Arkansas: Offers a state income tax credit for the creation of jobs with wages equal to or above the lowest county average hourly wage. Credit can be earned each tax year for five years.

ArkPlus: Offers state income tax credits of up to 10% of the total investment of a new location or expansion for projects that meet the threshold.

Tax Back: Provides sales and use tax refunds on the purchase of building materials, machinery and equipment for businesses that sign a job-creation agreement and invest at least $100,000.

Equity Investment Tax Credit: Discretionary income tax credit of up to 33.3% of amount invested for techbased businesses offering wages above state or county averages.

Targeted Business Incentives: Offers specialized incentives, including tax refunds and credits to help knowledge-based startup businesses.


Arkansas Economic Development Commission: arkansasedc.com

Arkansas Economic Developers Chamber Executives: aedce.org

Association of Arkansas Development Organizations: arkansaseconomicregions.org

Highlighted Program or Initiative

The state announced in March 2018 the Competitive Communities Initiative, which identifies ways communities can be more competitive with their economic development organizational structure, funding, workforce and product readiness.

Big Deals

  • Packaging manufacturer Silgan broke ground in January 2018 on a new manufacturing facility in Fort Smith.
  • Applied Process announced in February 2018 it will construct a multimillion-dollar heat treatment plan in Fort Smith and add at least 30 new jobs.
  • Calstrip Industries announced in May 2018 the creation of 45 new jobs and a $15 million, 100,000-square-foot steel processing plant in Blytheville.
  • Gränges announced in May 2018 the creation of 100 new full-time jobs and a $26 million investment in its Newport operations.
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne announced in August it will invest $50 million in an expansion of its facility near Camden, adding 140 jobs over the next three years and bringing the total facility size to over 300,000 square feet.

Big Companies

Six Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state:

Tyson Foods
Murphy USA
J.B. Hunt Transport Services
Windstream Holdings

C-Suite Testimonials

“We greatly value our longstanding partnership with Arkansas and its support for our continued growth in Camden…. This expansion enables us to increase the volume of solid rocket motors we produce for tactical and missile defense systems used by America’s warfighters.” —Eileen Drake, CEO and President, Aerojet Rocketdyne

“Silgan is excited about our expansion in Fort Smith. The warm welcome from both state and local authorities makes us confident we have chosen the right location to serve our customers. We look forward to extending the Silgan family in the Fort Smith community.” —Robert Lewis, Executive Vice President and CFO, Silgan

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