INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Economic Development Commission recently announced their new incentive tier rankings for 2018.
The commission ranks all of Arkansas's 75 counties annually based on poverty rates, population growth, per capita personal income, and unemployment rates.
Independence County moved from tier 2 in 2017 to tier 1.
It is now listed among the top 15 counties in Arkansas, alongside two other Region 8 counties: Greene and Craighead.
"It's great big because it brings attention to us as not being just a viable economic area but a prospering economic area," Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said.
Griffin said it shows that the state now recognizes what county officials have already known for the past few years, that the area is growing and is a successful place for business and industry.
He said when a business boom happens other investors will see it and want to be a part of it also.
"With the increases in Bad Boy and Intimidator, you're liable to see these vendors that they have start locating here to supply them," Griffin said. "Just like Walmart. If you go to Fayetteville or Northwest Arkansas you see suppliers for Walmart so the bigger they get and the more that the types of things they use are common enough it could very well bring vendors here to supply them."
Although a higher tier does increase the threshold that businesses have to meet for incentives, Griffin said it is minimal.
He said being ranked as one of the top counties in the state by AEDC sends a message that the county is ready for more economic growth.
The county has its companies who continue to grow and supply jobs to thank for this jump to tier 1, Griffin said.
Sharp and Lawrence Counties also moved up.
Sharp County went from tier 4 to tier 3 and Lawrence County went from tier 3 to tier 2.
You can see the 2018 incentive tier map by clicking here.