Change is Coming for Downtown Walnut Ridge

WALNUT RIDGE, AR -- Downtown used to be the place where people would go to shop and eat.  Now downtowns in almost every Region 8 city are a shadow of what they used to be.

People on Main Street in Walnut Ridge want to make some changes.  Now, a group of concerned citizens in the town want to bring some life back into the city.  They want to see some specialty stores move into town to provide shoppers with something unique that they can't find anywhere else.

About a month ago a group of business owners and volunteers started brainstorming.  A group from Main Street Arkansas came to Walnut Ridge and met with the group.  After looking at their options, Gina Jarrett from Main Street Paragould is helping the group decide what is best for Walnut Ridge.

"They might want to begin with a lesser program called the Arkansas Downtown Network that's not as stringent as Main Street Arkansas.  That might be their first step," said Gina Jarrett.

Jarrett said the city already has a lot to work with including their old buildings, new sidewalks, and street lamps.

According to Jarrett since Paragould became a "Main Street" city in 1999, they have added 29 businesses and 116 more jobs to their Main Street.