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Welcome to our Chamber Connection Newsletter!
In an effort to connect our Chamber Members to valuable news, information, and resources each month we will feature a spotlight topic to better connect our community.
This month's topic focuses on the importance our Shop Local options including shopping, dining, services, and more . Next month's topic will feature a focus on Education in our region.
July | 2022 | Shop Local
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This Month's Newsletter is Sponsored by River Valley Democrat Gazette
More From our Newsletter Sponsor
The River Valley Democrat-Gazette is Celebrating Local Businesses!

“We are thrilled to bring you the second year’s edition of Best of River Valley,” said Brent A. Powers, president of the NW Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and River Valley Democrat-Gazette. “Our objective is simple,” continued Powers, “to create economic lift and overall promotion of the River Valley while engaging the community in celebrating the places, restaurants, and local businesses that make the area unique.”

In 2021, the newspaper accomplished this objective as they recognized 460 businesses that were voted best in the first-ever Best of River Valley. The beautifully produced magazine showcased the effort to discover and celebrate the businesses, people, and places we love most—as voted by the audience.
Shop Local Campaign - Thank you to our Presenting and Supporting Sponsors
The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce will kick off our 2022 Back-to-School Shop Local Campaign today, Thursday, July 28, 2022. We will continue to promote the concept of having a "Shop Local" mindset through Friday, August 19, 2022. 

We are still taking supporting sponsorships for the Back-to-School campaign. Supporting sponsors will have their logo/name included in all communications and campaign promotions (Radio, newspaper, email, and social media).

We will provide opportunities for Chamber members to have free Shop Local Showcases, photo features, social media pushes, and more during that time period. Call or email to discuss sponsorship, member promotion details, and scheduling of these opportunities with our Membership Engagement Administrator, Dawn Turner at 479-783-3111,
Fort Smith Chamber's Special Events in August
2022 First Friday Breakfast Series: August 5th
​Join us to hear from our local Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs panel.

In the spirit of our “Shop Local" campaign during this back-to-school season, you will have an opportunity to hear from a few LOCAL business owners. They will share information on how they got started, challenges they had to overcome, and advice for attaining success! This will be a panel discussion moderated by Bill Sabo, Regional Director for the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Department at UAFS.

In Arkansas, small businesses make up the majority of the business landscape. According to an article published by the Arkansas House of Representatives, 99.3% of companies in the state are small businesses this equates to approximately 260,000 businesses. It is estimated that for every $100 spend at a local business, $68 recirculates and remains in the local economy. Small businesses employ 47% of Arkansas employees or approximately 491,000 people. When you show patronage to a small business, you are doing business with someone that took a chance on their dreams or they are working hard to continue the dream of their families.

We will be hearing from a few individuals who chose to “take a chance’ in Fort Smith today.
Date and Time:
Friday, August 5, 2022
07:30 AM - 08:30 AM CDT
Doors Open at 7:00 AM,
Program begins at 7:30 AM
University of Arkansas Fort Smith,
Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center, Reynolds Room
800 North 49th Street Fort Smith, AR 72904
2022 Ticket Pricing:
$20 per ticket for Members
$25 per ticket for Non-Members

This will be an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of Chamber membership and how the tools that we offer can help you promote your business during these challenging times. Business Owners, Managers, Human Resources, and Marketing Representatives are encouraged to attend. 

You will learn:
* How you can use your Chamber Membership to promote your business
* The variety of events & networking opportunities available
* Free Resources & tools to effectively communicate

Recruitment resources:
Expanding your social media reach
Events & Special Offers Promotions

Who Should Attend?
* Those that have recently joined the Chamber
* Those that are thinking about joining the Chamber
* Those that have had a change in Leadership, Marketing, or HR
* Those that want to learn more about how to promote their business
Date and Time:
Friday, August 19, 2022
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM CDT

Fort Smith Chamber Office
Board Room
612 Garrison Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Each year, the Chamber and its members like to express our gratitude for the hard work and dedication of area teachers and faculty. The Teacher Appreciation Breakfast(s) offer our members an opportunity to give back to the teachers in public, private, and charter schools.

We will celebrate Private & Charter Schools on Friday, August 12th, and Public Schools on Tuesday, August 16th.

Thanks to our sponsors for making this possible!
Sponsorships are still available!

Contact Hannah Cabe at 479-783-3111 or by email at to sign up as a sponsor.
Shop Local Showcases
See what some of our past Shop Local Showcase looks like by clicking on the screenshots below!
Upcoming Shop Local Showcases
Watch for upcoming Shop Local Showcases through August 19, 2022

We have spots open for your business to have its own Shop Local Showcases. Contact email Dawn Turner to sign up for us to visit you!
Celebrate with our Chamber members - Upcoming Ribbon Cutting Events
Ribbon Cutting & Grand Re-Opening: VFW Post 8845 Fort Smith

Join us to celebrate the grand re-opening of our Chamber member Veterans of Foreign Wars - Jim Taylor Post No. 8845. The Fort Smith post is celebrating the elimination of smoking on the premises and extensive cleaning to welcome members and guests. Please come and celebrate this healthcare milestone with the Members, Officers of the Post, and special guests! The ribbon cutting will take place at 1 pm. The event will be held from 1 pm - 2 pm.

Date and Time:
Monday, August 1, 2022
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Jim Taylor Post No. 8845 – Veterans of Foreign Wars
3005 Tilles Ave.
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Ribbon Cutting: Whalen Automation & Integration

Please join us to celebrate welcoming our Whalen Automation & Integration to our Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce. You will be able to learn more about Brayden Whalen and the services he can provide in automation & integration.
Date and Time:
Monday, August 8, 2022
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT

Fort Smith Chamber Office
612 Garrison Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Ribbon Cutting: The Flats at 5900

Join Ghan & Cooper Multifamily as they celebrate the renovations and upgrades to The Flats at 5900 on Thursday, August 25th at 11 am.

The Flats at 5900's upgrades include exterior paint, parking lot seal and stripe, an added dog park, a new play court for kids, a new office, and upgraded interiors with floor fixtures, paint, and new appliances. Formerly the Timberline, the location has undergone a full rebrand with the change in the management company, signage, and new complex name.

Date and Time:
Thursday, August 25, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM CDT

The Flats at 5900
5900 Kinkead Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72903
Ribbon Cutting: Urgent Team Baptist Health Urgent Care

Fort Smith Chamber members Urgent Team & Baptist Health will celebrate the Grand Opening of their new Baptist Health Urgent Care Clinic in Fort Smith at 12:00 pm on August 30 with a ribbon cutting.

Date and Time:
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

Baptist Health Urgent Care
2801 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening: Farmers Market Direct

Join us to welcome Farmers Market Direct to the Fort Smith Chamber and Fort Smith regional community. The Grand Opening is from 11 am - 2 pm with a ribbon cutting to take place at 12 pm.

What is Farmers Market Direct? We are the River Valley's new, online farmers market. We offer over 300 products for sale through the online store and will be adding new vendors and products weekly.
Our mission is twofold: to provide customers convenient access to the most locally sourced products available at competitive prices and to form relationships with farmers and artisans, providing a platform to sell and market their goods. By doing this, we hope to strengthen our community relationships and boost our local economy.
We want wholesome, nutritious, responsibly sourced food to be easily accessible to consumers at competitive prices without relying on a global supply chain and big box stores.

Date and Time:
Thursday, September 1, 2022
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM CDT

Farmers Market Direct
6119 Hwy 271 S
Fort Smith AR 72908
Shop Local Quick Fact
Find a List of Retailers that are members of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce on our online Member Directory by clicking here.
Special Community Upcoming Events
United Way of Fort Smith Area "Fill the Bus" event starts today
Join us Friday, July 29th and Saturday, July 30th for Fill the Bus!
Friday from 9am to 7 pm, and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. We will be ” filling the bus”
with school supplies for local children. The supplies collected will be given to local
schools to be distributed to children in their district that may need help getting prepared to
start a new school year.

Walmart locations where you will find a school bus are:

3108 N Broadway St, Poteau, OK
1101 W Ruth Ave, Sallisaw, OK
1501 E Walnut St, Paris, AR – Friday Only
1400 East Main St, Booneville, AR
1516 N 18th St, Ozark, AR
551 Liberty Dr, Greenwood, AR
367 W Cherry St, Alma, AR
2214 Fayetteville Rd, Van Buren, AR
8301 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR
2100 No. 62nd St, Fort Smith, AR – Kelley Hwy
2425 South Zero St, Fort Smith, AR
4900 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR
8600 US 71 South, Fort Smith, AR
Good Samaritan Clinic's Back-to-School Parking Lot Party & Health Fair
Chaffee Crossing Historic District Farmers & Artisans Market
STEPS Family Resource Center Duck Day 2022
Since 2013, “adopted” rubber duckies have been “racing to bring awareness.” STEPS holds it’s largest fundraiser each year to bring awareness to the many programs and services that STEPS offers for individuals, families, and children in the River Valley Area that help strengthen our community.

The Duck Day Family Fun Festival begins at 10:00 am in front of Parrot Island Waterpark, where families can enjoy our duck themed games, fun activities for the kids, and check out the many vendor booths.

The event concludes with our annual Duck Derby, where 1000 rubber duckies race around Parrot Island’s Lazy River as their “adoptive parents” cheer them on– all in hopes of winning one of our many wonderful donated prize packages!

It’s a Quackin’ good time for the entire family!!!!
Shop Local Quick Fact
Make sure to follow the Fort Smith Chamber on social media @ftsmithchamber to see information and news about our organization and from our members!
Check out our Chamber Member Eateries
Find a list of Chamber members in the food & beverage industry with our online Member Directory by clicking here.
Welcome to Our New Members in June & July 2021
ART Transport
CBMC NW Arkansas
Farmers Market Direct
Fred O. Williams
JTS Financial Service
Karrie Woods, Keller Williams Platinum Realty
Lumina Revenue Cycle Management/Lumina Behavioral Health
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Post 8845 Veterans of Foreign Wars
Przybysz Wealth Management, LLC
Quality Circuit Assembly
Royal Kingdom Public Relations Agency
S|S Design Company
SASS Catering & Food Truck at Quality Inn & Suites
Scot Shaw Insurance Agency -State Farm
Whalen Automation and Integration, LLC
Upcoming Chamber Connection Newsletters
August 25, 2022 - Education
September 29, 2022 - Healthcare
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