Economic Research and Development Center

We'll change your idea of Economic Development

The Economic Research and Development Center (ERDC) is an economic development outreach program of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

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About Us

Who we are

Originally organized under a grant from the Black Business Educator's Association of America and Ford Foundation, ERDC is now supported by both federal and state agencies. The center primarily provides assistance to clents located in the eastern, souteastern and southwestern regions of the state.

The Economic Research and Development Center is open 5 days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. To schedule an appointment, please feel free to stop by, call, fax, or write. Contact information is available by clicking here

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1986 - ERDC Conceptualized

1987-1988 Received Ford Foundation funding to establish ERDC

June 17, 1988 - Approved by U of A Board of Trustees UofA Board Action Founding ERDC (1988) Pg24

1989 - 1990 Received DOD funding to operate a procurement assistance center at UAPB

1990 Received state funding to establish an incubator without walls targeted at minority businesses

1991 Began developing a comprehensive neighborhood development strategy for the area around UAPB

1999 Recognized as a National Best Practice Program ERDC Highlights 1995-2006

2001 Received Funding to purchase the University Plaza

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UAPB ERDC Celebrating 26 years

More than 1000 Satisfied Customers

Community Driven / Strategic

Dr. Mary Olson, Tri-County Rural Development

Dr. Mary Olson

TRI-County Rural Development

Awesome / Convenient / Affordable

Melinda Smith - WooHoo! Snack Mixes

Melinda Smith

WooHoo! Snack Mixes

Key Infrastructure / Economic Value

Lori Walker, City of Pine Bluff

Lori Walker

City of Pine Bluff
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Our Process

How we do it

Business and Economic Development Technical Assistance (T.A.)

This program is intended to spark wealth and job creation for entrepreneurs and businesses by increasing the availability of ongoing, structured, one-on-one client engagement; providing on-site business development services; and assisting in starting, strengthening, or expanding business operations. The program serves business owners/entrepreneurs with low and moderate incomes, and those in traditionally underserved communities (including people of color, those with limited English proficiency, and those located in specific geographic areas such as PDC's Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and Main Street areas.)

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies are used to determine whether an intervention is appropriate for further testing; in other words, they enable researchers to assess whether or not the ideas and findings can be shaped to be relevant and sustainable. Such research may identify not only what—if anything—in the research methods or protocols needs modification but also how changes might occur.

Micro Enterprise and Small Business Development Technical Assistance

This program assists low to moderate income individuals to successfully start or expand a business and provide a future of financial security for themselves and their families. The services offered include: Classroom workshops on preparing for self-employment; writing a business plan; and how to start or expand a business. One-on-one business consulting. Start-up or business expansion loans from $500 to $50,000 at competitive interest rates. Post-loan, post-program business consulting services to ensure continued financial success.

T.A. For Community Facilities • Entreprenurship Training (FasTTrac, Operation Jumpstart)

Entrepreneurial training program offered by the Economic Research and Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. This 11-week program focuses on improving business operations by developing an effective management team, formulating budget and planning growth. Over 20,000 entrepreneurs have graduated from FastTrac programs in more than 35 states and Canada. Results from the FastTrac II training indicate that 10-25% of graduates more than double their sales within one year after graduation.

Business Incubation (Virtual Tenants)

If you need dedicated onsite space, every-day access to services, networking with fellow entrepreneurs across the hall, or a steady calendar of workshops and training events a flight of stairs (or elevator ride) away, then please consider going "beyond Virtual" and learning about our Onsite Incubator Tenant Program. Learn more > Or maybe Virtual is just your ticket, but you have friends... Do you know any fellow entrepreneurs who may benefit from becoming an onsite Incubator Tenant based in the ERDC facility? Our Tenant Referral Program offers cash incentives for successful tenant referrals.

Access to Micro Financing (Pine Bluff Only)

New, existing, and emerging entrepreneurs enrolled in the UAPB Business Support Incubator Program who are looking to open or expand a business in one of the two designated revitalization zones (University Park and Downtown Central Business District) within the City may seek funding under the UAPB/City of Pine Bluff Micro Revolving Loan Program. This unique program is made possible through a vibrant community economic development partnership between ERDC and the City of Pine Bluff.

Our history


Neighborhood Revitalization Projects

Provided $57K in challenge grant funding to assist 5 businesses. HUD dollars were leveraged on a 1:1 basis by private dollars; Completed a neighborhood business needs assessment to better understand the needs and business opportunities of University Park; Partnered with the City to develop a detailed neighborhood plan that was implemented as part of the City’s Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Plan. All tasks were completed as planned.


Support Incubator & UAPB Plaza

Furnished and equipped the UAPB Business Support Incubator to house a maximum of 12 small businesses; Partnered with the City of Pine Bluff to carry out pre-development activities associated with the University Park Super-Block engineering and re-platting. These pre-development activities were carried out in preparation for new construction of 5 blocks of new construction single-family housing to be developed by private developers; Completely renovated the outside of UAPB Plaza that was purchased using 2001 HBCU grant funds.


University Park & Technical Assistance

Capitalized a revolving loan fund program used by tenants of the UAPB Business Support Incubator on a 1:1 basis (HBCU/City) in the amount of $140K; Provided technical assistance to (3) CBOs operating in University Park; Provided management and technical assistance to (11) incubated businesses; Provided after-school tutorial, adult educational and drug prevention programs to area residents. The Projects scheduled for completion in September ‘09


Community Service Projects

Awarded funding to (2) community-service CBOs. Provided technical assistance to 1 housing CDC. Trained 15 youth to operate a student-run business. Project is on-going.

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Some facts about us

We are proud of these numbers

Businesses Housed
Jobs Created
Industry Awards
Annual Visitors

Our team

Behind the scenes

Henry Golatt, UAPB ERDC Executive Director
Henry Golatt
Executive Director

Wanda Jeter, UAPB ERDC, Assistant Director
Wanda Jeter
Executive Assistant

Who loves to partner with us

Perfect Location for any kind of presentation

Use our Business Resource Center to showcase your business or projects

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Our address

Where you can find us

Office Location

615 S. Main St., Pine Bluff, AR.

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Email Address

Working Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 - 17:00