The City of Arkadelphia is the first recipient of the Arkansas Entrepreneurial Community of the Year Award presented by the Arkansas Small Business Development Center (ASBDC). The award recognizes Arkadelphia’s organized efforts to assist and encourage entrepreneurial activities.

Arkadelphia’s community and economic development strategy includes nurturing new and existing small businesses. A central component of these efforts is the completion of the Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative survey. In 2005, the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the ASBDC, the Clark County Industrial Council, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Henderson State University and Southern Financial Partners joined forces to conduct the survey. Survey results are being used in economic development planning to encourage business retention and expansion.

The ASBDC created the award to emphasize the economic importance of entrepreneurship and to encourage more communities to engage in economic development planning with a focus on local businesses.

In addition, Paul Shuffield with Southern Financial Partners in Arkadelphia was presented with the District Director’s Award for Service to Small Businesses by the US Small Business Administration. Among his other accomplishments, Shuffield has been involved in the Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative in Arkadelphia.

Both awards were presented at the 16th annual Arkansas Small Business Awards Luncheon this past summer.

For more information on the awards or the honorees, contact Linda Nelson at linda.nelson@ sba.gov.