Arkansas: The South’s Unexpected Bastion Of Growth

Arkansas is an easily forgotten state in the Deep South. Landlocked and geographically smaller than some of its surrounding states, Arkansas tends to be better defined by the political personalities it produces. Which is not entirely unfair — Arkansas has produced some very interesting politicians.

But Arkansas has also produced a pretty interesting store front business climate and perhaps a stronger one than most might expect.

By The Store Front Numbers 

Arkansas managed to pull ahead of its general region, which had been among the fastest-growing subsets of the United States, with 4.1 percent growth through the second quarter of 2015, year on year. But that was topped a bit by the state itself, which showed a little more zoom over the same period, at 4.2 percent, and with consistent readings above 110 in most periods for which the Store Front Index is calculated.

The outperformance by Arkansas is especially notable given the fact that it has outperformed even the strongest region in the country and even beyond a dearth of manufacturing growth, which has bedeviled other states. That, of course, shows the continued importance of smaller businesses, and store fronts especially, as a continued engine for progress.