|Updated: 7/13/2010 8:25 pm
||Published: 7/13/2010 3:33 pm
Windstream decides to stay in central Arkansas, locking down 300 current jobs and adding 210 new ones. Does this say more about Arkansas having a more friendly atmosphere for business, or does it say more about how tough it is to actually move your business in this economy?
"I don't think its that hard to move your business if you want. States will typically open up the coffers for a corporate headquarters. I think Windstream's decision had as much to do with some incentives from the state, but more importantly a significant number of their high-level workers are already here and have been here for years. Replacing or uprooting that workforce would have been a difficult move for Windstream," says Roby Brock.
How big is Windstream's coverage here in central Arkansas? Is this one of the top telephone providers in the state?
"AT&T and CenturyLink (formerly CenturyTel) are the biggest landline providers in Arkansas and Windstream is not in the wireless business, which would add Verizon to the mix. In Arkansas, Windstream does have a lot of business accounts and its corporate headquarters employs a significant number of high-paying, high-tech workers. Average salaries are around $82,000/year," says Brock.
Will Windstream's decision to stay affect other big companies, does this make Arkansas seem like a better destination for business headquarters and plants?
"It's a selling point for central Arkansas. Anytime you have a corporate headquarters in a region, it gives you a strong hand to recruit other related businesses, vendors and suppliers to that business, and as Windstream grows - which I expect it to do - its national reputation improves and that also becomes a selling point for Arkansas. If the business climate in Arkansas is good enough for a major publicly traded company like Windstream, then it could be good enough for us' becomes the attitude of prospects," says Brock.