Fayetteville ranks among the best places in America for business, with more than 3,500 thriving companies in the region – including 125 that have more than 100 employees.
An average of two businesses have opened each day for the past four years in Fayetteville, and the city’s creative workforce, innovative spirit, affordability and diverse industries are among the many reasons why companies are enjoying so much success. Here is some background:
Wal-Mart, which is headquartered 30 minutes away in Bentonville, has a major economic presence in Fayetteville. The retail giant operates two supercenters in the city, along with four neighborhood markets, a Sam’s Club and an optical lab that makes 2 million pairs of eyeglasses a year. In all, about 4,500 people are employed by Wal-Mart in Fayetteville.
In other major retail news, the first-ever Whole Foods grocery store opened in Northwest Arkansas in mid-2016, in Fayetteville’s new College Marketplace.
Superior Industries is the largest producer of aluminum wheels in North America, serving automakers such as BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen, and about 400 employees work at the Fayetteville facility. Procter & Gamble operates a 300-employee manufacturing facility that makes several items sold to vendors such as Wal-Mart, while Pinnacle Foods Group produces 8 million Hungry Man frozen dinners each year at its Fayetteville plant.
The University of Arkansas has a staff of 4,500 and is the top employer in the region. U of A also is ranked along with Duke, Stanford and Yale among the top research universities in the United States. The Walton College of Business, where every student in the MBA program leaves fully employed prior to graduating, is also located here.
Also serving the community is Fayetteville Public Schools, a district that includes a $95 million high school and a charter school that ranks among the best in the state.
Two of the primary employers in the Fayetteville region are Washington Regional Medical Hospital with 2,300 employees and Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks with 1,300 staffers. Also serving health-care students throughout the community is a teaching medical school, a teaching pharmacy school, a physical therapy school and two nursing degree programs.
Fayetteville Farmers Market
The longest continuously running farmers market in Arkansas is Fayetteville Farmers Market, which celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2017. The downtown landmark on the Fayetteville Public Square is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with fresh food and entertainment. The market is also involved with the Feed Communities program for needy families in Northwest Arkansas.