Arkansas Small Business: Big Rural Impact Podcast
The Create Bridges Arkansas Small Business Big Rural Impact podcast highlights products and services of businesses in their respective regions. We discuss ways business owners address workforce development, technology, infrastructure, and more.
The purpose of our podcast is to foster collaboration between local business owners through the sharing of ideas and best practices.
Read more on the Community, Professional, and Economic Development blog.
Episode 19: Cutting Edge Commitment
Featured guest: Cass Stanford, the new owner of Riverside Machine in De Queen, AR.
Back in the 3Cs, CREATE BRIDGES Regional Program Coordinator Murriel Wiley takes us to DeQueen, Arkansas, to meet with Cass Stanford, the new owner of Riverside Machine. The shop provides Sevier County with custom made knives, a cool local tourism stop, milling, drilling, sawing and welding services, along with once-a-month community knife-makers meetings and fellowship plus so much more. Riverside Machine holds a historical value in the area and the products created in-house are often designed for folks who live beyond the region, and the state. In order to continue serving Southwest Arkansas and keep growing as a company, the business ownership changed hands from one generation of knife-makers to the next and a story of local succession emerged.
Episode 18: #MeetMeAtMillies
Featured guest: Brooke Walling and Sarah Musik, Millie's in Cave City.
CREATE BRIDGES's Regional Program Coordinator Hazelle Whited sat down with the co-owners of a new restaurant, Millies, located on main street in Cave City just across from City Hall. This hip spot is a gathering for locals but a must stop for tourists and regulars from outside the area. From the formation of owning a restaurant, to the community support leading up to the Grand Opening on Saturday, May 22, Brooke Walling and Sarah Musik share the importance of perseverance, faith, and good support systems through the trials of just getting a restaurant open in a historic building to wondering if COVID-19 will prevent them from ever moving forward on this dream.
Episode 17: But First, Coffee Drive Through
Featured guest: Luke Gibson, co-owner of But First, Coffee Drive-Thru in Ash Flat,
CREATE BRIDGES's Regional Program Coordinator Brandon Mathews takes his turn at the microphone to talk with Luke Gibson, co-owner of But First, Coffee Drive-Thru in Ash Flat, Arkansas. Luke and his wife Shelbi opened the store in 2019, just months before the pandemic hit. With COVID-19 shutting down so many small businesses, Luke shares how they adapted and survived to have a growing small business in the community.
Episode 16: Ready, Set, Grow!
Featured guest: Amelia Moore of Picalily Flowers and Gifts.
CREATE BRIDGES Regional Program Coordinator Murriel Wiley in the 3C's talks with Amelia Moore of Picalily Flowers and Gifts in Nashville, Arkansas, who shares her story about becoming a small business owner in rural Arkansas. Amelia's passion for what she does, the people that are part of the team, and why she invested into the renovation of a building on main street that is over 100 years old comes through as she shares just how rewarding this journey continues to be.
Episode 15: Extra! Extra! Read All About It: Newspaper Is Not Dead
Featured guest: Kim Break of Areawide Media.
Brandon Mathews is joined by Kim Break of Areawide Media to share how partnering with local media to for advertising is still beneficial especially in rural Arkansas. From a business success story to ideas on how local media is relevant to helping distribute information for workforce development and skills training in the area, there is much to talk about in this episode. Also, Kim encourages businesses and individuals to call the local paper even if they are not sure if what they have to say is newsworthy.
Episode 14: Operation Communication
Featured guest: Smart Phone EMT owner Esteban Ochoa with one of his "co-workers" Kelly Goins. Murriel Wiley and Hazelle Whited team up in Sevier County to talk with the folks of Smart Phone EMT about the importance of communication across different generations, and different languages. It also provides some insight and inspiration to making a business successful through caring about employees first so they can genuinely care about people. (We even get a couple great sound effects from Kelly's child from time to time AND a quote from the movie Joe Dirt ;-) We think you will enjoy this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.
Episode 13: Cuttin Up at the Barbershop
Featured guest: Dylan Smith of Stateline Barbershop. Brandon Mathews talks with Small Business Owner and Entrepreneur, Dylan Smith, founder and owner of Stateline Barbershop located on Main Street in Mammoth Spring Arkansas. Years in the making, Dylan thought owning a barbershop would stay a dream. Yet, now he has been open for more than a year and business is good, despite the pandemic.
Dylan shares what it’s like to start a business, the process to getting funding and literally building from the ground up. He discusses some of the ways he markets himself and taps into the local and tourist economies. And, just like all businesses, Dylan speaks about some of the challenges he has faced and what he would have done differently knowing what he knows now.
Episode 12: A Regional Approach to Promoting Your Business
Featured guests: Keisha McKinney of McKinney Media Solutions Hazelle Whited interviews Keisha McKinney - 3Cs Region Steering Committee (RSC) member, CREATE LIFT contributor, and fan of the CREATE BRIDGES podcast. Here we explore further into the background of CREATE BRIDGES, the work behind the workforce training certificate program, and why listening to this podcast benefits owners, employees, and anyone just wanting to know more about rural Arkansas.
Episode 11: A Regional Approach to Promoting Your Business
Featured guests: Cathy Drew, Executive Director of Ozark Gateway Tourist Council, and Gloria Sanders, Executive Director of the Calico Rock Community Foundation and Museum and Visitors Center. Brandon Mathews interviews Cathy Drew and Gloria Sanders on a host of topics including the benefits of being a member of Ozark Gateway, why the whole community needs to be on board when it comes to promoting an area; opportunities for reaching markets outside of Arkansas, and some new programming launching in the region soon.
Episode 10: The Three Amigos of CREATE BRIDGES
Featured guests: Hazelle Whited and Brandon Mathews of CREATE BRIDGES Ozark Foothills region (Sharp, Izard, Fulton), and Murriel Wiley of CREATE BRIDGES 3C's region (Howard, Little River, Sevier).
We want to hear from rural business owners!
If you're a business owner in the Ozark Foothills (Izard, Sharp, and Fulton counties) or the 3Cs (Little River, Howard, and Sevier counties) reach out to Julianne Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 671-2158.