Northwest Arkansas Region Luncheon Set for Oct. 3

The Center for Business and Economic Research in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Northwest Arkansas Council, will release the seventh annual State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report on Oct. 3.

The annual State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report, first released in 2011, will be shared at a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors Event Center, 314 N. Goad Springs Road in Lowell. Attendees may arrive at 11 a.m. for networking.

Speakers at the event will include Nelson Peacock, the Northwest Arkansas Council’s new president and CEO, and University of Arkansas economist Mervin Jebaraj, interim director of the U of A’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz, the Northwest Arkansas Council’s presiding co-chair, will introduce the event and give remarks.

While the report itself was first published in 2011, the luncheon started three years ago as a way to amplify the report's findings. The publication began after the Council encouraged the University economics team to compare Northwest Arkansas to excellent regions across the U.S. While the communities have changed from the original group that included such places as Gainesville, Fla.; Austin, Texas; and Omaha, Neb., the goal of seeing how Northwest Arkansas stacks up against a group of exceptional peers remains unchanged.

Peacock, who started work with the Council in July, will discuss the Council’s regional goals and address the need to expand the effort to attract federal funding for basic research and to enhance the support for local entrepreneurs to help grow and diversify the region’s economy.

Jebaraj will outline the economic highlights in the State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report as well as economic data and statistics from the Center for Business and Economic Research’s Quarterly Business Analysis.

The cost for the program and luncheon is $40. Preregistration is required, and the deadline is Monday, Sept. 26. Reservations can be made for the luncheon at cber.uark.edu or by calling 479-575-4151.