Oct. 1, 2016 - Program Announcement
Local First Delta Spark "Virtual Accelerator"

Does your company struggle with finding new clients?  The Delta Spark regional accelerator program could be your answer.

Tired of putting thousands of dollars and many hours of work in trying to reach your customer base just to be ignored by them?

Wondering how other companies and your competitors seem to get their message out and get sales so easily?

Marketing and sales may not be so easy for them either, they may just be getting lucky - or they may have a solid understanding of the data behind marketing and how to use technology to their advantage. These days, you have 3 to 5 seconds to grab a prospects' attention before they get away. If your marketing doesn't engage a prospect immediately, you've lost your next, and possibly best, customer.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has generously funded this new program to assist small businesses and start-ups in the Delta to learn how to acquire new customers and grow their business.  Delta Spark with feature both an on-line learning program as well as direct engagement with leaders in the sales and marketing field focused on helping you understand topics such as;

- How to build a sales and marketing plan
- Understanding Google search
- Understanding social media advertising
- How to track and manage your marketing data

You'll learn marketing principles you can apply to your company as soon as you start our program. By the time you're done working with our experts, you'll be able to market like the pros.

This Free Virtual Accelerator will launch in August 2017 with the application process starting in November 2016, so check back soon for information regarding applications.  Sign-up to receive Delta Spark updates below and visit the Frequently Asked Questions section on our site as well.


Local First Delta Spark will accelerate the skills of locally-owned businesses and startups in the Delta region of Arkansas to help you rapidly find new customers and sales traction through the use of technology and data analytics, as well as instill confidence in your ability to make Return On Investment-based marketing decisions.


What is a Virtual Accelerator?

The virtual accelerator concept is based upon a business accelerator, which is a type of business incubation program designed to rapidly assist a company in their growth.  An accelerator is typically 12 to 14 weeks in length and requires company representatives to participate in person.  A virtual accelerator uses technology tools, the internet, video streaming and other mechanisms to  allow companies to remotely learn from their own locations.  


How can Delta Spark help my business?

The virtual accelerator program is being designed specifically to assist companies in the Delta region of Arkansas to learn how to better acquire new customers.  If your business struggles in marketing to find new customers then this program can be a of benefit to you.


Does Delta Spark cost anything?

Local First Arkansas will be able to run the virtual accelerator program at no cost to the business participants.  The program is being funded through an SBA  2016 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition award.  Additional Delta program funding partners will be announced soon.


What is Local First Arkansas?

Local First Arkansas (LFAR) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and supporting an alliance of locally owned, independent businesses.  It's primary mission is to support local business across Arkansas and provide them with the skills training, technologies and in-depth programs, such as Delta Spark, that will allow them to grow their businesses and innovate.  For more information on Local First Arkansas please visit LocalFirstAR.com


Why is the SBA funding this program?

The SBA created the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014 as a way to make new connections and strengthen existing bonds within America’s small business support network, bringing entrepreneurs and innovators together and connecting them with local and national resources that support small business job creation and growth.   Local First Delta Spark was selected as 1 of 68 programs in 32 States to recieve this award for innovation in supporting small businesses.


What type's of businesses are eligible to apply?

Any business who is within the footprint of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) in Arkansas and meets the SBA's size standards as a small business is eligible to apply.    The SBA is placing an emphasis on inclusion of African descent, Native American and veteran business owners to ensure equal opportunities to these groups. 


How many businesses will be selected for the program?

A minimum of 15-20 companies will participate in the initial Delta Spark programs.  


When is the deadline to apply to participate?

The program will be accepting applications until May 31, 2017.  


I'm a business and civic leader in the Delta.  How do I get involved?

Thanks for your interest in supporting business growth in your community!  Please sign-up for Delta Spark email updates and someone on the Local First team will reach out to you.


Anything else I need to know?

The Local First Delta Spark program has been identified as an innovate new business growth support program by the Small Business Administration.   We expect significant impact on businesses in the Delta Region in Arkansas both now and for years to come.  If you own a business and are interested or know of someone who would be interested we encourage you to register to receive updates on our progress.