SWIPE RIGHT ON LITTLE ROCK: The Little Rock Regional Chamber announced a new initiative to attract outsiders in May.

The Little Rock Regional Chamber on Monday announced a “Love, Little Rock” campaign to tempt out-of-state folks to move to Central Arkansas. A pretty $10,000 incentive comes along with it, and locals who recruit outside talent can earn $501.

The program is presented in a dating app type of way, like it’s urging out-of-staters to swipe right on Arkansas. The website to apply states four simple steps: 

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  1. Be an out-of-state professional 
  2. Fall in love with Little Rock 
  3. Get matched with a local job
  4. Move to the 501 and get a cash bonus

The $10,000 is contingent on a candidate’s job acceptance to a participating business. The program is on its feet now, Jay Chesshir, president and CEO of the chamber said. The website also allows applicants to choose their interests. Selections range from automotive, healthcare, IT, legal and more.

The program is privately funded with $1 million available, Chesshir said. Participating businesses have agreed to pay $5,000 for each candidate, and the chamber will provide the remaining $5,000. The program will last until the funds run dry.

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“The Chamber and our partners are committed to helping more people discover the endless possibilities of life in Little Rock and make a move with confidence,” Chesshir said in a statement. “And for those that moved away, we want to welcome them back to rediscover the vibrant city they left … a city called home by generous, neighborly people who also love taking care of each other.”

The participating businesses are: 

  • Stephens Inc.
  • City of Little Rock
  • Arvest Bank
  • Little Rock Port Authority
  • Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Baptist Health
  • CHI St. Vincent
  • Saracen Casino Resort
  • Central Arkansas Water
  • Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority
  • Mainstream Technologies, Inc.
  • Arkansas Children’s Hospital
  • Lexicon, Inc. 
  • Halff Associates, Inc.
  • Cadence Insurance
  • BOND.AI
  • FORVIS
  • J.A. Riggs Tractor Company
  • McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. 
  • Apptegy
  • Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. 
  • Attorneys Title Group, PLLC
  • Baldwin & Shell Construction Company
  • Bell & Company, PA
  • Edafio Technology Partners
  • First Orion
  • L’Oréal USA
  • McLarty Nissan of Little Rock
  • Remington
  • Revolution
  • SIG Sauer
  • Simmons Bank
  • Wilson Law Group, PLLC

“With a growing number of businesses and industries expanding in the area, I’m excited to see what the Chamber is doing to nurture economic growth for our growing city and region,” said Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. in a statement. “Recruiting new residents by offering these incentives will strengthen our city’s workforce, create more long-term growth, and enhance the quality of life and place for all of our residents and surrounding neighbors here in the 501.”

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The mayor’s spokesperson did not immediately reply to a question about what city funds were being used for the program.

Update: Spokesperson Aaron Sadler said that the incentive would be offered on a “case-by-case basis as part of a relocation package, with funding from departmental budgets. Board approval would not be needed.”

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