Whether we’ve written about it at length or mentioned it in passing, one of the points we try to convey when talking about real estate markets and investing in real estate is the importance of a market’s economic health to the success of its real estate market and the success for long-term investors operating within that market.
It’s one of the primary factors that we consider as a turnkey real estate company when evaluating a market’s potential.
So many factors go into determining overall economic health, but one thing we know makes all the difference in the world is the strength of local small businesses in a market. Whether or not a market encourages and nurtures entrepreneurs, innovators, and businessmen and women in their midst is a big deal. It is not enough for a city to have one or two major employers or industries to sustain it. The real heart and soul—what truly makes a long-term impact—are the small businesses that bring diversity and innovation to its economy.
Little Rock, Arkansas is a city that recognizes the value of small businesses. These are just a few of the outstanding and up-and-coming small businesses that are shaping the Little Rock we know and love today.
4 Outstanding Small Businesses and Startups in Little Rock, Arkansas
Apptegy specializes in helping schools build digital platforms and brand identities without adding any of the pains that can come with the process. They remove the learning curve that a school’s administration faces when dealing with the task of building a digital presence and providing digital tools for their students, teachers, and parents.
They are most known for their app Thrillshare, which acts as both a communication and marketing platform for schools and school districts to build a community presence and control their brand across social media outlets through the distribution of posts and stories. This allows them to not only share positive work but to communicate more effectively and efficiently with their constituents.
Apptegy was founded in 2015 and experienced explosive growth in its first two years, which, in 2017, lead to its receiving a $5.7 million grant from Five Elms Capital in Kansas City.
Related Article: Real Estate Market Overview: 3 Things to Know About Little Rock, AR
Real Estate Market Overview: 3 Things to Know About Little Rock, AR
Atypical Coffee is a small batch artisan coffee roaster who brings in coffee from all over the world and roasts it locally in Little Rock. Their coffees can only be purchased at the Hillcrest Farmers Market and online, where they offer weekly and monthly coffee subscriptions.
Their goal is to create great coffee that isn’t overpriced while also buying from and directly supporting small coffee growers.
The Venture Center
The Venture Center is perhaps one of the most potentially impactful small businesses in modern Little Rock for the city’s economic future. The Venture Center is a growth accelerator, incubator, and bootcamp for startups and entrepreneurs. It exists to help other businesses in Little Rock get their footing and flourish so that, in turn, the city also succeeds economically.
Part of their strategy involves the FinTech Accelerator, an exclusive 12-week program specifically for financial technology startups. The program provides a $75,000 initial investment, industry connections, mentorship and coaching, and a rigorous curriculum to help ensure long-term success.
They also have business bootcamps, membership in their community with networking benefits, and more. The Venture Center, in short, is helping lead and grow Little Rock’s next generation of business leaders.
The Bark Bar
On the fun and innovative side is downtown Little Rock’s Bark Bar, an indoor-outdoor space that is for both man and man’s best friend. It is both dog park and social hangout in one, featuring an off-the-leash play area and a full menu of coffees, local brews, cocktails, and treats. For dog lovers, it truly is one of the most fun and innovative places to get together in the city.
It’s these fresh ideas that get people excited to live in Little Rock. The local flavor that small businesses bring to the table make it a better place to live, work, and spend free time.
Ultimately, as real estate investors, this can be a difficult quality to quantify. But if we look at the rising number of local and creative businesses coming to Little Rock, we can see just how excited people are to be here. And for us, that’s good news for everyone.
Interested in learning more about investing in Little Rock? Let's chat.