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Bella Vista council approves business agreement

by Keith Bryant | May 3, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

BELLA VISTA -- The City Council approved a $59,000 contract with the Bella Vista Business Association to promote local business.

The money is are split between 2021 and 2022 at $29,500 for each year to help provide for events, campaigns and services this year and next year.

Mayor Peter Christie said the agreement includes a series of performance indicators the association will be required to provide a progress report on each 90 days.

The indicators are to measure progress on a variety of activities, including a new business association website, building membership, business fair events in 2021 and 2022, networking opportunities for members, marketing campaigns and other items.

Council member Steve Bourke, who helped with the agreement, said he believes it's a good use of the city's budget, which was bolstered by Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security act money.

"It has been a very challenging time for the Bella Vista business community," Bourke said. "This is a way for us to make an investment and kind of re-energize."

Association president Dawn Cross addressed the council in support of the measure.

Cross said she was excited to see the council considering the measure.

The association has provided advertising, business fairs and other aid to its members over multiple decades, she said.

"We have provided tangible benefit to our membership as well as the local community," Cross said.

Council member Doug Fowler said he wasn't sure where the $29,500 per year number came from and the council may need to reconsider increasing the amount down the road.

"Things are a little more expensive than you think sometimes," he said.

The council also approved two rezoning requests, a paving contract, a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area grant to reimburse the Police Department for overtime while working on the drug task force and amending the city's 2021 budget to recognize sales and use tax money.

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