By Anne Cosgrove
From the November/December 2023 Issue
Quality of life holds different meaning for different people, but common aspects include quality education and healthcare, activities and amenities that add richness to both business and leisure time, and convenient location. Companies are considering this site selection factor more than ever in the current climate, with quality of life more important than in past years. Here is an array of locations that offer an appealing way of life.
Arkansas: Business, Quality Of Life Are Naturals
Businesses looking to relocate or expand in a state with one of the lowest costs of doing business in the country, proximity to 40% of the U.S. population within a day’s drive, and an unsurpassed quality of life centered around low costs of living and an abundance of outdoor and cultural opportunities need to look no further than Arkansas.
It’s Arkansas’ quality of life that makes The Natural State home. Once people come to Arkansas, they don’t want to leave, which is why the state has the fifth highest rate of inbound movers in the country.
A gem in the middle of the country, Arkansas is home to one of the only places in the world where visitors young and old can search for real diamonds. Outside magazine named Arkansas “an adventure paradise” thanks to its world-class hiking and biking trails to its pristine lakes and rivers. The state is also quickly gaining widespread recognition as a mecca for mountain bikers. Three Arkansas cities were named among the top 10 “best cities for bicycling.” Arkansas’ 52 state parks provide a wide range of fun including camping, golf courses, canoeing, and hiking.
Arkansas’ many museums, galleries, theaters, and music venues appeal to art enthusiasts, history buffs, and more. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville has gained worldwide recognition for its focus on American art and stunning architecture. And speaking of architecture, the new Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock, recently redesigned by the renowned Studio Gang, is turning heads in both the art and the architecture worlds. Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs and the Murphy Arts District in El Dorado are proof that art can be enjoyed in rural areas as well as large cities.
Because education is the foundation to economic development and success, Arkansas has a strong commitment to providing citizens with learning opportunities to help them reach their full potential beginning in pre-kindergarten and continuing through higher education. The state invests in education and training resources that allow workers to develop skills needed by key industries in the state. Arkansas passed legislation in 2023 that raises teacher salaries, provides reading coaches and tutoring grants, and strengthens the state’s math and literacy standards to prepare students for college or careers.
In Arkansas, business leaders will find a skilled workforce that is ready to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Because the state has a stable and diverse economy, workers have the skills to step up to any job with minimal training — something that the Arkansas Economic Development can provide to both new and existing businesses as their needs evolve to meet industry changes and customer demands.