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Hazelle WhitedCPEDEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Hazelle Whited - March 25, 2021
Back in the summer of 2020, the CREATE BRIDGES team had the idea of launching a podcast
series with the goal of showcasing the resources, challenges, and victories of small
business and workforce in rural Arkansas.
Focusing on the four specific sectors that form the lifeblood of economic progress
in rural communities that are often void of any other industry, the podcast is a vehicle
for entrepreneurs, small business and employees to share their personal stories and
experiences to provide inspiration and encouragement to others, while also sharing
what makes living in small communities so appealing.
In our second episode that aired on October 15, 2020, Lights, Camera, Crickets, we showcased two different business owners that came from big corporate positions
before moving and starting a small business in Sharp County, Arkansas.
One of these guests, Marc Herring of Ozark Classic Crafts Mall, describes hitting the lowest point in his business after the second month into COVID,
barely hanging on enough to keep staff and products going. Then, just a few weeks
later, Herring describes receiving a text that propelled his business into a trajectory
he never saw coming – even in the midst of COVID.
This episode was downloaded 30 times, not a trailblazing number, but still effective
enough to provide inspiration to others. Encouragingly, this podcast led to a follow
up article from Only In Arkansas freelance writer and 3Cs Regional Steering Committee member, Keisha McKinney, to
write about Herring’s incredible turn-around that is now heading towards producing
an officially licensed MLB (Major League Baseball) product.
The article reinforces just how innovation, tenacity, and pressing on are part of
the formula any small business, particularly in rural communities, must possess to
succeed. For the CREATE BRIDGES team, it also serves as confirmation of the influence
sharing the stories of rural businesses, employees, and community through the podcast