Michael McCray, chairman of the Pine Bluff Small Business League, recently announced the formation of the league.
A group of small business owners, revolving loan fund recipients, and tenants at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Business Support Incubator have formed a unique business alliance to help save, market and promote small businesses in Jefferson County, McCray said recently in a press release.
The Pine Bluff Small Business League is a countywide merchants association dedicated to sustainable economic development in Jefferson County through small business creation, expansion and support.
With support from the UAPB Business Support Incubator, the purpose is to support small business and entrepreneurs in Pine Bluff as a tool for economic development and job creation.
“We have to work together in order to save ourselves and our local businesses,” McCray said. “As individual small business owners, we lack sufficient bargaining power or political clout to change our financial situation, but together as a unified voice, we can raise awareness, affect public policy and negotiate better deals and concessions.”
The league is different from other business groups because the focus is on individual entrepreneurs and small business concerns, according to McCray.
“Our goal is to assist any small business owner in Pine Bluff, but our focus will be to support the high priority areas designated by the city — Downtown/Main Street and University Park,” he said.
The inaugural event was a New Orleans styled “Pine Bluff Pardi-Gras” held Easter weekend.