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The expansion of downtown Benton points to a bright future: Population growth and business expansion



Benton, Arkansas – Benton has gradually experienced an increase in both population and economic prospects. The central Arkansas cities surrounding Little Rock are not an exception to this trend.

According to William Barnes, a co-owner of Stated Outfitters, downtown Benton has prospered over the five years they have been in this location.

“Lots of new restaurants and stores came in and we have seen that bring a lot more traffic into the area and it has grown a lot,” said Barnes. “The downtown area especially seeing it taking off. I was on the ground floor of that and just seeing it grow. I have three kids now so it is great for them to be in a city where they are going to experience the fruits of that.”

His sales have been harmed by the quantity of new enterprises.

“There is just more to do here so there are more people which means more revenue,” said Barnes.

Mayor Tom Farmer writes to the public that the city has added 10 new enterprises and seen a 2% growth in population over the previous year.

In 2020, the census indicated that Benton had a population of over 35,000; as of this year, that number has risen to over 38,000.

Additionally, that traffic growth will be aided by the ARDOT effort to continue widening Hwy 5, which passes through Benton and Bryant.

Madison Smith, Pretties and Grace’s marketing manager has resided in Benton since 2011.

“I pretty much grew up in Benton and I have seen it grow tremendously,” said Smith. “The downtown and military areas, a lot of small businesses have popped up and grown and has brought the community together in a way and it has been cool to see that.”

The city reports that a mountain biking park is the next project under construction. The idea behind this project is to attract more tourists to the area and help the local businesses thrive.

“Because of how much it has grown, it has brought a lot of people, even outside traveling in just to visit,” said Smith. “All of these small businesses popping up, it is definitely bringing in more people, therefore growing and making the community stronger.”

According to Farmer, Benton is the second-biggest city in the country for first-time home purchasers and the twelfth-largest in the state.


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