Targeted business sectors identified in the approved economic development plan are corporate services; entrepreneurs and innovators; legacy manufacturers; retail; and specialized technologies. These are not the only targeted business sectors in which Fayetteville will have success but are the top opportunities on which the city should focus its efforts at this time.
Corporate services can broadly be defined as company-wide support services that may include legal, marketing, information technology, and other. With a highly-skilled workforce, a lower cost of doing business, and a high lifestyle quality, Fayetteville, Arkansas, has become the regional headquarters for many new business opportunities, and also has the physical and workforce infrastructure in place to support businesses in the information technology services and data center sectors. There are an estimated 4,000 people in Washington County employed in corporate services sectors with a projected growth of 4 percent by 2020.
Entrepreneurs and Innovators
Entrepreneurs and innovators are rapidly increasing in numbers with the coming of age of Generation Z. Fayetteville has a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem that has already supported a number of successful startups ranging from e-commerce businesses to electronics, nanotechnology and other.
Manufacturing has a long history of success in Fayetteville, with major manufacturers in sectors that include tool-making, food production and automotive. Supporting this sector for retention and expansion will continue to lead to success as manufacturers take advantage of a skilled workforce, a comprehensive transportation infrastructure, and a low cost of doing business.
As the fastest growing city in Arkansas, Fayetteville offers retailers access to a dynamic consumer market that includes a student population of more than 26,000. With ideal available sites and a low cost of doing business, retailers can take advantage of a region with income levels much higher than the state average.
Fayetteville and the MSA have retail gaps in clothing and clothing accessories; sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores; and electronics and appliance stores that present opportunity for growth.
With access to resources like the Center for Retailing Excellence at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is a prime location for companies developing specialized technologies to support the retail sector and other big data users. The city offers a highly skilled technical workforce and a low cost of doing business to ensure success.