Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce Branch Bringing Businesses to Area

MARCH 15, 2004 -- Posted at: 6:45pm

JONESBORO, AR - Jonesboro City, Craighead County and Chamber of Commerce leaders are preparing for an important economic development announcement. They aren't giving many details; only saying it's going to be made by a Jonesboro Developer.

Jonesboro Unlimited is spear-heading the notice. It's an organization created in 1983 by four men that helps to create endless opportunities in economic and industrial development.

"They decided the future of Jonesboro was unlimited, and that's what we call this organization, and it worked out rather well," said Henry Jones, Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce President.

It began with 103 businesses paying $1,000 each to belong. The group's first investment was a $35,000 study dealing partly with municipal financing.

Jones explained, "It included the set-up of our economic development program, but also the attributes and problems that we might have been having in the community, and a target industry study that told us what industry we should go after."

The recruitment of the food processing industry began, and that's what helped entice Nestle-Stouffer's to cook dinner here by the thousands.

"I believe our total outlay on that from Jonesboro Unlimited funds was $107,000, and it was picking up some costs here and costs there that smoothed out the whole incentive package," Jones added.

Jonesboro Unlimited's latest project hasn't been announced yet, but the public is speculating it will be a new mall located on land off of Stadium Boulevard and Highland Drive. However, Bruce Burrow will not comment about it. Signs advertising the land is for sale still pepper the property. An announcement about its' future will be made at a Jonesboro Unlimited luncheon on Thursday. Henry Jones wouldn't give any more information than that.

"Mayors don't make these kind of announcements. Governors don't make these kind of announcements, and Chamber of Commerce executives don't make these kind of announcements.

The formal announcement is set for noon at St. Bernards Auditorium. KAIT will be there. We'll have the details on K8 News at Five and at Six.