As more people move into the area, downtown Benton has been filling up with businesses, and that has been drawing even more people to the city.
BENTON, Ark. — In Benton, a growing downtown and a growing city go hand in hand— City leaders explained that more and more families have been moving into the area.
Downtown Benton has been filling up with businesses, which have in turn been drawing more people into the city.
Brooklyn Stewart, a salon owner in downtown Benton explained that after COVID, everyone wanted to be downtown.
“I’m just so lucky to have been able to get in and stay here because it’s just like, really popped off. And it’s so fun,” Stewart said.
According to the city, most buildings downtown are full.
“It’s like they don’t even come for rent really like someone snags it before it’s even like announced that there’s a space available,” Stewart added.
Benton’s Community Development Director, John Parton, said the people in the community have been the ones behind the city’s business growth.
“We had several members of our historic district commission, which helped keep the character and nature of downtown. Many of them are shop owners and they want to help preserve downtown as much as anyone because they’re invested in downtown,” Parton explained.
The numbers have shown an increased interest and growth for businesses in the city.
“This year’s development applications were up 60% over last year, and they were up over 70% this time over last year. So coming out of COVID, we expected some increase. But we’ve had a tremendous amount of increase in terms of the new building and commercial applications,” Parton added.
He also said that he is hoping for continued growth in the future.
“The great news is we have great cooperation and forward-thinking leadership here in the city of Benton,” He said.
City leaders said they are expecting more shoppers to come out during this holiday season and explained that the bike dismount zones that were installed a month ago, will also help keep everyone safe.