Main Street Arkansas Official Visits Rector

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Main Street Arkansas assistant director Samantha Evans (left) and Christina Boyd at the Rector Downtown Central monthly meeting. (TD photo/Nancy Kemp)

Main Street Arkansas assistant director Samantha Evans told Rector Downtown Central members at Thursday's monthly meeting they need to think about 2016 "starting now by making three priorities" for community projects and developments.

She also reminded the group to take on tasks as a group and not burden individual volunteers with possible "burnout" going forward

"We focus on the four point approach: promotion, design, economic vitality and organization; everyone should be working together with all committees working on one goal," she said.

Evans also discussed ways to brainstorm with the big question being, "What can we do to make sure our town doesn't fall off the map?" and covered ways to get more Rector residents involved in volunteering with the organization.

She also informed RDC of outside resources provided through Main Street Arkansas including small business consultant Mark Miller, who helps with business structure whether it's a new business or one expanding; exterior consultant Mason Toms, who helps with exterior design, and interior consultant Susan Shaddox, who focuses on the interior design and functionality.

Evans' interactive comments encouraged members to focus on the true needs of Rector as a community and the downtown area, which is bringing business into the town. "What kinds of business services would people come from out of town to get?" Evans asked. "What are people leaving town to spend money on?"

Many ideas were brought up by members of RDC, and board member-at-large Ron Kemp pointed out many residents don't realize how much Rector does offer, "All of your basic necessities can be found right here," and much more. However, more business is key to the revitalization of the downtown area and to ensure there are employment possibilities of many kinds. Evans also made a future appointment with board members to return to Rector in December.

Officers and committee chairs were announced at the beginning of the meeting with Lark Sigsby, president and chair of the design committee; Laura Wilburn, vice president; Nancy Kemp, secretary and chair of the promotion committee; Christa Hedrick, treasurer and chair of the organization committee and Ron Kemp, member at Large and chair of the economic vitality committee. Mayor Teresa Roofe also serves on the RDC board.

Also discussed were ways to be involved in Rector's annual Christmas Parade Thursday, Dec. 3, and Small Business Saturday, set for two days after Thanksgiving.

RDC is asking for donations of working Christmas lights and decorations to construct a float for this year's parade; all donations are tax deductible.

Two recipients have been chosen for the matching $500 mini-grants for improving appearances of downtown storefronts. The recipients have not been approved by Main Street Arkansas, but the names will be released in coming weeks.

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  • "What kinds of business services would people come from out of town to get?" Evans asked. "What are people leaving town to spend money on?"

    The list is long one - Food, drink, lodging to start.....

    and then "many residents don't realize how much Rector does offer, "All of your basic necessities can be found right here,"

    Really????

    The real answer is JOBS. Clay County needs good paying jobs to add vitality..

    -- Posted by JCfromMounds on Fri, Nov 13, 2015, at 9:12 AM
  • Related to the loss of jobs and from another article CCTD...

    In the 1950's and 60's 17 cotton gins were spread across Clay County. Today one stands alone: Graves Gin Corp. at Hargrave Corner.

    16 gins gone... maybe 20 people per gin?? ~300 jobs gone...

    "Everything was done manually" Now it is more automated, ... more job loss.

    How many farmers are gone now? Most,,, right? More jobs lost. Bigger tractors, bigger farms less farm work. More job loss..

    -- Posted by JCfromMounds on Fri, Nov 13, 2015, at 9:29 AM
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