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Southern Bancorp Community Partners Working With Buxton to Support Retail Development in Helena, AR

FORT WORTH, TEXAS, (March 3, 2015) — Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving rural communities in the Mid-South, has partnered with Buxton to support retail development in the Phillips County, Arkansas community of Helena as part of the bank’s ongoing economic development efforts. Buxton’s advanced consumer analytics will identify new retail concepts that are a strong fit for the trade area, provide market insights to support existing local businesses and determine the feasibility of new hotel development.

While retail economic development programs have traditionally relied on basic demographic information, Southern Bancorp Community Partners and Helena will utilize consumer insights that go beyond demographics, presenting a convincing case to retailers seeking growth opportunities. Buxton’s proprietary web-based real estate platform SCOUT® will give local leaders the ability to analyze retail matches and development scenarios.

“Southern exists to drive economic opportunity by providing capital and services to support job creation, homeownership and wealth creation. Having good information will help maximize the impact of our investments,” said Dominik Mjartan, CEO of Southern Bancorp Community Partners. “We look forward to using the insights from Buxton’s analysis to strengthen downtown businesses and bring new retail development to the area as part of our mission to create economic opportunity in the rural communities we serve.”  

“Analytics are essential in today’s economic development process,” said Robb Miller, director in Buxton’s public sector division. “Buxton is happy to play a role in the continued growth of Helena’s economy.”  

Buxton has worked with more than 650 cities and community development organizations nationwide to implement retail development strategies. Clients include the Tennessee Valley Authority, Mississippi Power and the Southwest Louisiana Partnership for Economic Development.  

About Southern Bancorp

Southern Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company; Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a development finance and lending organization; and Southern Bancorp Bank, one of America’s largest rural development banks were founded in 1986 by then Governor Bill Clinton, Walmart Chair Rob Walton, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and others who were concerned about the economic decline of rural Arkansas. All three entities are U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) collectively known as “Southern.” With $1.1 billion in assets, 80,000 customers at its 41 branches in Arkansas and Mississippi, Southern invests in people and businesses in rural communities; empowers them to improve their lives; and helps them transform their communities. 

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About Buxton

Buxton is the industry leader in customer analytics. We help businesses understand who their customers are, where their customers are located, and how to grow the value of each customer. More than 3,000 clients in the retail, restaurant, healthcare, private equity, and public sectors have relied on our insights to guide their growth strategies. Clients include GNC, Anthropologie and Marriott.

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Media Contacts

Katie Russell
(817) 332-3681

Nathan Pittman
Southern Bancorp
(501) 890-8984

Journey Awareness Persona Economic Development/Elected Official