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‘Hub’ to get $50,000 from NLR Council

The North Little Rock City Council Monday approved appropriating $50,000 from the general fund to provide financing a community organization designed to enhance economic development in the downtown area.

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub Inc, also known as ARIH, is designed to provide public safety services, aesthetic improvement services, health and sanitation services and promote marketing services, according to Resolution 2013-154.

“The city of North Little Rock desires to promote the creation of new business in Arkansas by retaining and attracted educated, creative entrepreneurs to Central Arkansas by supporting an open business model, fostering co-location and providing constant and easy interaction among many different industries and a wide variety of workers including artists, scientists and engineers,” states the resolution.

In its agreement with the city, ARIH agrees to submit an annual report to the City Council that accurately reflects all performances of its agreement with North Little Rock.

“Said report (is) to be submitted no later than April 1 of each year this agreement is in effect,” states the agreement. “A representative of ARIH will be available, at the request of the city, to appear before a specified City Council meeting to answer any questions concerning the report.”

The agreement may be terminated by either the city or ARIH without cause upon 120 days’ written notice.

Here is a further breakdown of what ARIH wants to provide the downtown Argenta area:

1) Public safety. Provide for management of a safe downtown by providing ambassadors to patrol stakeholder territory and assist area residents, business persons, customers, visitors and others with information and supervision.

2) Aesthetic improvement. Provide for management of a beautiful downtown by providing ambassadors to plant and maintain flowerbeds, pots, hanging baskets and other improvements including weed control and maintenance activities.

3) Health and sanitation. Provide for management of a clean downtown by providing ambassadors for litter removal, gum removal, sidewalk power washing, graffiti removal, cleaning of street appurtenances, and related tasks using new equipment such as sidewalk sweepers, power washers, street vacuums and hand tools.

4) Promotion and marketing. Provide for management to promote and market the arts such as performance, musical, literary, visual, spoken word, culinary, farmer’s market and other cultural and sports related activities and venues through events and programs in the Stakeholder Territory (downtown area) that inspire, educate, inform, and entertain.

The ARIH incorporated with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office on Aug. 13.

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