KASU

Talk Business

Saturdays, 3:30pm
  • Hosted by Roby Brock

A multi-media news organization focusing on Arkansas news and information.Content is driven by Roby Brock, who has interviewed more than 2,000 business and political leaders. Brock is the host of Talk Business & Politics which airs Sunday mornings at 9 am on KATV Channel 7. He also moderates a radio program which airs on NPR affiliates statewide (including KASU, Saturdays at 3:30pm). Supporting staff, contributors,and content partners represent the most knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. 

Digital platforms such as Talkbusiness.net, Facebook and Twitter allow news and information from around the state to be made accessible as it is happening and keeps those most affected in the know. Talk Business.net micro-sites further providing dedicated content to the Northwest and Northeast regions.In addition, micro-sites are dedicated to specific industry insights such as entrepreneurial, education, healthcare and financial news. 

Daily e-newsletters with top business and political news are complemented with specific industry updates strategically assigned per day to support industry trends. 

The Talk Business & Politics publication reaches affluent decision-makers across the state and is an essential resource guide for new entrepreneurs and leaders at all levels of government. With a dedicated delivery of 16,000 copies bi-monthly, readers receive an in-depth look at business and political profiles, the most current developments in key industries, and corporate and policy strategies. 

The audience of Talk Business & Politics is predominantly CEOs, presidents and principals of companies statewide. In addition, elected officials at all levels, trade association executives, healthcare leaders and higher education representatives. 

Courtesy of Talk Business & Politics Facebook page

Ways to Connect

The Delta Regional Authority has donated $1 million toward the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub’s I-Fund, a funding and training program for small businesses started by college students. The program will expand in its geographical reach and will be called the Delta I-Fund, according to an email newsletter from the Hub.

The next two 12-week sessions will be in the fall, offering $50,000 in potential funding for each startup. All companies accepted to the program will receive $5,000. Participants will be selected by a five-person committee, according to the Hub.

House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on a controversial rules change that would have replaced the independent Office of Congressional Ethics with a new office under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Talk Business & Politics

Some Arkansas workers will get a 50 cent boost in pay on New Year’s Day when the state’s minimum wage will rise from $8 to $8.50, Arkansas Department of Labor officials said Wednesday (Dec. 28).

“This is the final increment of the (Arkansas Minimum Wage Initiative) that was passed by voters in 2014,” said Rosalyn Miller, public relations officer of the state Department of Labor.

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There have been attempts in recent years by state Democrats and advocacy organizations to increase the amount of money the state spends on its pre-K program, known as Arkansas Better Chance (ABC). Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families held a meeting Thursday in Jonesboro to inform locals about potential legislation, including ABC funding that will be considered by the Arkansas General Assembly next year.

AACF senior policy analyst Paul Kelly told Talk Business & Politics the state’s economic future is dependent upon advances in the ABC program.

Tyson Foods ended its fiscal year with net income of $1.768 billion, 45% more than the previous fiscal year, thanks in part to lower grain costs, better margins in the chicken segment and continued success with its prepared foods business.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., gave no hints on a possible role in the upcoming Donald Trump administration in an interview that covered Trump’s potential conflicts of business interests, Iran sanctions, the lame-duck Congress, and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

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Low crop yields could force some farmers in Craighead County to abandon their livelihoods by the spring, Craighead County Extension Agent Brannon Thiesse told Talk Business & Politics.

Rain, humidity, periods of intense heat, and other factors have led to a relatively poor harvest for rice, soybeans, and corn farmers – three of the staple row crops in the region. There are roughly 200 farmers in Craighead County, and Theisse estimates up to 5% of them could go out of business as a result of poor yields.

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he will commit $10 million in additional funding for higher education in fiscal year 2019 – the first across-the-board funding increase for the state’s colleges and universities since 1996 and the first increase of any kind in six years.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The Arkansas Supreme Court in a 5-2 opinion has disqualified the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act – Issue 7 – from the November ballot, with the majority opinion saying the act sponsors “failed to meet the constitutional requirements” related to the signature gathering process.

Two legislatively-referred constitutional amendments have found traction with voters although both have a sizable number of undecided opinions.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump hasn’t seen his poll numbers slide any in the last month, despite controversies and lackluster debate performances. As a matter of fact, the Republican standard-bearer slightly grew his lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the former First Lady of Arkansas’ one-time home state.

In the U.S. Senate race, the contest has tightened between incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman and Democratic challenger Conner Eldridge, but Boozman still maintains a comfortable 18-point lead.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows that opposition remains stronger than support for two medical marijuana proposals that will be on the November ballot.

The poll, conducted statewide among 463 likely Arkansas voters on October 21, 2016, has a margin of error of 4.6%.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment survived an Arkansas Supreme Court challenge in an opinion issued Thursday, but the court pulled an amendment that would allow casino operations in three Arkansas counties.

The three candidates for U.S. Senate defended their parties’ presidential candidates and attacked the others in their first and only debate this election season.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Former U.S. Senator and Arkansas Governor David Pryor, 82, suffered a stroke Monday and is in recovery after surgery, the University of Arkansas System announced Monday.

The UA System, where Pryor serves as a trustee, said he was transported to a local hospital and was in recovery after surgery it described as successful.

The second quarter economic story of Arkansas’ four key metro areas was much like the first quarter story: unchanged from the previous quarter, but healthy, with continued job gains and sales tax revenue growth, according to The Compass Report.

Arkansas Businesses Ready To Trade With Cuba As Restrictions Lifted

Sep 23, 2016

Candlemaker Burt Hanna, rice and grain operators and even an oil importer in Arkansas are ready to do business with Cuba, held back only by an embargo rendered 56 years ago that has only served to help impoverish a neighboring nation, according to Melvin Torres.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows that Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has widened his lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton by another 10 points from late June.

Beyond budget bills and Zika funding, Sen. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, says he thinks infrastructure funding will find its way into law before an October recess. The state’s senior senator also explained his position on overseas travel, an upcoming debate, and controversies in the Presidential race.

While a better Arkansas economy has helped lower the state’s 2013-2015 food insecurity rate to 19.2% from the 19.7% in the 2010-2012 period, national and regional food bank officials say more help is needed and the rates remain above pre-recession realities.

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Pool hall owner Jack Allison saw a peculiar aircraft in flight over his hometown late night Sept. 18, 1964. It was large, and as he spied it from the pool hall parking lot, it was clear to him the plane was headed to the Walnut Ridge Airport.

Allison instructed three teenage boys to investigate it. When they arrived at the runway, the plane door opened and immortals strolled onto the tarmac. It was the only time the Beatles – George, John, Paul, and Ringo – ever set foot in the Natural State as a group.

Jonesboro building permit values up 43% through first seven months

Sep 15, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Jonesboro building permit values totaled $122 million for the first seven months of 2016, up an impressive 43% compared to the same period in 2015. The increase was largely fueled by expansions at Frito Lay and St. Bernards Healthcare.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

A $40,000 check from Verizon will enable the state to create regional and state computer coding competitions, with the winning team of three students each taking home a $2,000 scholarship award.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday (Sept. 7) the creation of the Governor’s All-Region and All-State Coding Competition during a speech at Hall High School. Hutchinson is touring 12-14 schools to promote his initiative requiring all of the state’s public high schools to teach a computer coding course.

Jonesboro and Craighead County sales tax receipts up more than 5% year-to-date

Sep 7, 2016
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Jonesboro has collected $11.6 million in city sales and use tax in the first seven months of 2016, up 5.1% over the same period in 2015, according to the city. Craighead County sales tax collections totaled $12.8 million in sales and use taxes, up 5.2%, or $639,000, from the same period in 2015, according to the county.

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Hillary Clinton likely will win the presidential race, but only by 3-5% of the popular vote, while Democrats will probably take back the Senate and Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives.

Those were some of the observations by Charlie Cook, author of the influential Cook Political Report, during an Arkansas Economic Developers luncheon Monday (Aug. 29)sponsored by Talk Business & Politics.

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