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Center For Economic Development

Your success is our mission

The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Center for Economic Development is your destination for workforce and personal training, planning, and advising. Our three distinct offices provide you with the resources and experienced partners you need to help advance your business and your career. Whether you are starting your own business, expanding into new markets, or accelerating your career – the AV Center for Economic Development will help you achieve your goals.


Center for Business and Professional Development

Delivers customized training and consulting services to meet your personal or company goals. You set the goal, we create the program, and together we get results.

Family Enterprise Center

Offers family businesses a learning community to meet their unique needs. Members have access to workshops, quarterly breakfast meetings, and peer groups.

Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center

Helps with every aspect of business creation, management, and operation for new and seasoned entrepreneurs. Receive confidential consulting and market research at no charge.

Decorative graphic for EDA University Center Program

Official EDA University Center

The AV Center for Economic Development is proud to have been designated an official University Center Program by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The CED is one of only two recognized University Center's in Arkansas and one of 73 in the United States. As a University Center, the AV CED is able to collaborate with other EDA partners by providing expertise, applied research, and technical assistance to develop, implement, and support regional strategies that result in job creation, high-skilled talent pools, and business expansion.

Compass Web Report

Compass Regional Economic Report

The AV Center for Economic Development is proud to partner with Talk Business & Politics to produce The Compass Regional Economic Report, the only independent economic analysis of Arkansas’ top four metro areas. Kendall Ross, CED executive director, provides narrative and analysis for the quarterly report, read by business and industry leaders throughout Arkansas.

Host your next board meeting or corporate retreat at the AV Center for Economic Development!

Located in Fort Smith's vibrant Bakery District, our 10,000-square-foot facility features customizable classroom space for 120 collaboration spaces, state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities, and an executive boardroom. Our downtown location provides convenient access to excellent catering and lodging options.


The offices within the AV Center for Economic Development offer multiple opportunities for workforce and personal education and special events. Browse our offerings to find the sessions that's right for you.