Fayetteville nonprofit

partners with agency

The U.S. Small Business Administration in Arkansas said Friday it is partnering with Communities Unlimited, a nonprofit organization in Fayetteville, to support minority business development across the state.

SBA's partnership is through the nonprofit's Arkansas Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, which works with minority businesses that have less than $250,000 in revenues.

"The SBA Arkansas District Office's new alliance with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) recognizes a need to utilize partnerships to make an impact in the state." said Adriene Brown, director of the federal agency's operations in Arkansas. "Alliances play a pivotal role in providing our communities with resources to help them grow and [to] capitalize on opportunities. Our joint effort will help deliver on our commitment to create opportunities for small businesses by expanding access to capital."

The Arkansas MBDA Business Center provides business assessment, strategic growth planning, financial forecasts and analysis, business consulting, strategic partner referrals and more.

-- Andrew Moreau

Walmart, European

suppliers talk growth

Walmart Inc. is working with its European suppliers to help them to succeed and to ensure their products reach its customers worldwide, the company said on Wednesday.

The retailer brought nearly 60 business leaders from all over Europe to its Bentonville headquarters last week for a two-day European Supplier Summit.

The visitors toured local Walmart stores and Sam's Clubs while talking with their hosts about ways to develop a more robust supplier pipeline.

Walmart leaders from its merchandising, sourcing and sustainability teams talked with attendees about ways they can work more collaboratively to create redundancies in the supply chain and keep products flowing smoothly to shoppers in stores and online.

"We're looking to move beyond traditional, transactional relationships with our suppliers to build a supply chain that seeks to minimize risk and maximize opportunity," said Jason Fremstad, senior vice president of supplier development and sourcing for Walmart International.

The meeting centered on innovation and growth opportunities in its supply chain, Fremstad said on the company's blog.

-- Serenah McKay

Arkansas Index down

5.95 points to 853.61

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 853.61, down 5.95 or 0.96%.

On Friday four of the index's stocks gained ground while nine declined.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.