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Chamber meeting to feature panel discussion on bypass

by Susan Holland | May 10, 2022 at 11:27 a.m.

GRAVETTE -- The May 18 meeting of the Greater Gravette Chamber of Commerce will feature a panel discussion on the topic, "Gravette Downtown vs. I49: Competition or Opportunity?" according to Chamber president Steve Harari. The meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Chamber office, 109 Main Street S.E.

Harari explained that, with the completion of the Bella Vista Bypass, three I49 interchanges now fall within the Gravette city limits and Mayor Kurt Maddox has estimated that these areas will provide from 100 to 150 locations for new businesses. Thus, they are expected to have a tremendous impact on Gravette's growth.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has plans to build a new Welcome Center at the Mount Pleasant interchange, which is the one closest to downtown Gravette. This center, which is expected to be operational in late 2023, will be located only five miles from the intersection of Highways 59 and 72 in Gravette.

Panel members will be Tim Craig, principal broker at Rateliff Lifestyle Properties; Kim Hendren, former Arkansas State Senator and Gravette developer/entrepreneur; David Keck, Gravette building inspector and code enforcement officer; and Rob Smith, policy director at the Northwest Arkansas Council. Harari, who will be the moderator for the discussion, has announced, "We have a great panel of speakers and I think it will be a great discussion."

Jerri Price, the new leader for the HIRED program sponsored by the Arkansas Public Schools Resource Center, will also be on the Chamber meeting agenda. She is working with the Gravette School District, which is participating in the HIRED program. The objective of the program is to build partnerships with businesses and industries in the area.

Chamber meetings are open to the public and Harari invites anyone interested to attend. Lunch will be provided.

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