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Batesville Area Chamber hosts Economic Prosperity hub meeting

Featured image: Crystal Johnson speaks at the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Prosperity hub meeting.

The Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce kicked off its Economic Prosperity hub meeting series Tuesday, May 11. The goal of the Economic Prosperity hub is to plan for economic prosperity in Independence County by building community-led actionable strategies for growth.

The first meeting was held at the downtown branch of First Community Bank and had approximately 60 participants. Micah Beard of Citizens Bank and Robb Roberts of First Community Bank, in partnership with the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, serve as leadership for the hub.

Sarah Kinser, chief program officer for the Arkansas Community Foundation, facilitated the first of the four-part series, titled “Engaging the Vision.”

Participants reviewed and responded to data representing the region’s economic attributes and several high-level outcomes of the initial IMPACT plan, including population and job creation.

The group reported an increase of 1,179 in county-wide population since the initial launch of the IMPACT efforts in 2015 and 8.8 percent job growth, which outpaces the national average of 1.3 percent.

Participants worked in groups to envision the community five years from now. They were encouraged to think about what would be different if economic success is achieved and what would be the same. Hub leaders will take the group’s input and develop a vision to frame the remainder of the working sessions.

“Economic prosperity is crucial in the continued growth and advancement of our community, and the leadership in Batesville and Independence county are committed to ensuring that we continue to thrive,” said Vital Link’s Kathy Lanier, who attended the meeting. “I was immensely proud of the diverse group who attended, the energy in the room was contagious. I believe that this work will certainly pave a path for continued prosperity.”

The next meeting of the hub will take place Tuesday, May 18, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Batesville Community Center. Community members are invited to attend and be open to participating in discussions and activities.

To read more about the IMPACT plan, click here.

Image and info via Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce

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