Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Warren Bank Board Chairman and President Attend Southern Arkansas Development Briefing

Chris Masingill, John B. Frazer, and Kelly Ashcraft attend Southern Arkansas Development Briefing
Warren Bank & Trust Company Chairman of the Board John B. Frazer and President Kelly Ashcraft were in attendance Tuesday, October 18th for the 2016 Southern Arkansas Development Briefing held at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  On hand to make presentations about the state of the economy, in south Arkansas, the entire state and the nation were the following:
Laurence Alexander, Chancellor UAPB
Robert Hopkins, Regional Executive, Little Rock Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Kevin Kliesen, Business Economist and Research Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Dr. Michael Pakko, Chief Economist, UALR
Chris Masingill, Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority
Dr. David Rankin, President Emeritus, Southern Arkansas University
Dr. Peter Wui, Associate Professor of Economics, UAPB
Dr. Laurence Alexander, UAPB Chancellor, visits with
Warren Bank Chairman of the Board John B. Frazer and
Warren Bank President Kelly Ashcraft.

The group all presented research and their ideas for addressing economic growrth, especially for southeast Arkansas.  Some of the information submitted was as follows:
1. The US. unemployment rate peeked at 10% in October, 2009 after the great recession
2. America is into the eight year of an economic expansion
3. Arkansas lagged entering the recession and lagged coming out of it
4. The outlook for economic growth is slow but steady
5. South Arkansas' economic growth is subpar to the rest of the state, but the cost of living and of
    business is also lower

All the speakers talked about the need to improve education and infrastructure and to urge local communities to take advantage of their strengths.  They indicated that small business development is as important as seeking large businesses.

According to data presented, Bradley County makes up 5.4% of the population of the ten counties of southeast Arkansas and 5.2% of the employment of the region.  The county 2014 per capita personal income, adjusted is $38,554.00.

Also attending the meeting was salineriverchronicle.com Advertising Director, R. Gregg Reep.

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