“Bring jobs to Conway!” Sounds great right?? Here is my story and what I did to bring jobs to Conway!
I am a 2018 graduate of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce CALI program (Conway Area Leadership Institute). I learned so much about Conway and the 2025 plan. Keeping Conway active, keeping Conway creative, and keeping Conway giving were a few of the areas we dived into. It was keeping Conway working that inspired me the most. Our Chamber does an amazing job of trying to attract big business and industry to Conway and Faulkner County. New businesses create jobs and pump money into the city and county. One thing I learned was having a community attractive to potential employees was critical to the decision-making process. Some of the negative feedback from these businesses was the lack of Conway businesses that provide potential employees, and their families, activities to do after work. It took me several years to put my money where my mouth was but in 2020 that’s exactly what I did. My husband and I bought some land off Highway 64 and we decided that a mini golf would be something that Conway, Faulkner County, and the surrounding areas needed. I went to nine different banks to try to get the money to build a very nice mini golf course. Eight said no because a mini golf was too risky. There was nothing to compare it to in this immediate area therefore they weren’t willing to loan the money. Eight of them were willing to loan me money if I would build a mini storage facility. Mini storages they said was a “tried and true business model.” There were many sleepless nights, frustrated days, and emotionally charged conversations where I often thought let’s just do mini storages. Every time I felt defeated, I would keep thinking I HAVE to do this for my community. So, I never gave up. I kept trying and trying. It took me over nine months and finally First Arkansas Bank & Trust said yes but there was a condition. The house I had worked my whole life to own outright would now have to be used as collateral in order to get the loan. The bank wanted to to ensure that I was 💯 committed. This hit me like a ton of bricks and that night my husband and I talked until the wee hours of the morning. We knew it was the only way it would happen. The next morning, we decided to go for it!!! We could have made more money without risking our home, and with much less overhead, if we would have simply built mini storages. That was not my goal. My goal was to give back to a community that had been so good to us. To do our part as business leaders to assist the Camber in recruiting new business and industry. The first weekend we opened, as I watched children and parents laugh and have fun, I cried. It touched my heart ❤. It made every single sleepless night and frustrated tear I cried over the past 9 months, worth it. I am a candidate that will ALWAYS do what is best for my community. I won’t just talk about it. I’ll take action, even if that action means risking everything I have worked decades for to make it happen. I will fight for conservative values with the same tenacity.