Keeping business in Batesville: A local effort

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Over the past few years, Batesville has lost some businesses. Now, to try to keep the numerous small businesses across town in the town, local leaders are trying something that has never been done before.

A special event begins Tuesday, March 10, to lure companies to join the Chamber of Commerce.

Other cities in Region 8 have seen huge success by holding this type of event and Batesville leaders want to cash in on it.

"It's about our businesses working together in a way that will help them prosper in a tough economy," said Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jonah Shumate.

Batesville has seen tough times and area leaders realized long ago they had to do something to turn it around.

"There's a lot of different strategies when it comes to a down economy and you have to realize that companies can work together to keep things going," said Shumate.

Next week the Chamber will participate in a two day event to add new members.  This is something new for Batesville and chamber Shumate said they need it.

"It's a way for our chamber membership to come together in a high intensity event that's really going to carry on throughout the year," said Shumate.

Dani Kvern has been in business for 5 years.  So far she doesn't feel she's needed the chamber.  But she might give it a chance.

"We would consider it especially being in the new location that some people don't know where we are and looking to advance our business," said Kvern.

Shumate said there are probably a couple hundred businesses in the area that are not members of the chamber.  Adding some of those will help the city in the future.

"As the chamber grows, we can address huge issues that are stumbling blocks for our growth but also look at quality of life issues for our citizens," said Shumate.

Hopefully bring new businesses into the area.