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Success Stories

Arkansas Shades, Blinds & Shutters, Inc.

As a little boy, Wayne Jaques was enamored with airplanes.  As soon as he was able, he joined the U.S. Air Force as a Jet Engine Mechanic working on C-130’s.  His hard work and passion paid off as he became a flight engineer, then an evaluator and an instructor.

After leaving the U.S. Air Force, his entrepreneurial spirit began in earnest.  Jaques started with mowing yards and in assisting as an all-purpose handyman.  His mother had sewn drapery, so he started playing around with different window treatments.  Eventually, he decided to focus his business on window treatments, and Arkansas Shades, Blinds & Shutters, Inc. was started in 1996.  His company is now the preferred window treatment provider for much of the commercial building and renovation being done in Arkansas.  He has done window treatments for the Clinton Library, much of UAMS, and here he pauses…..  “just an awfully lot of commercial buildings” Jaques states.

Jaques believes in being humble, striving... Read More


When Musicworks outgrew their space and needed an additional 10 lesson rooms and warehouse space for their burgeoning internet sales division, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was there to help. Musicworks credits their success and ability to grow, in part, to the assistance of the SBA. Greg Price, co-owner, will tell you that, “We couldn’t have done it without the Small Business Administration 504 Loan Product and Six Bridges Capital Corporation the Certified Development Company, providing the loan. Expansion would have been cost prohibitive.” Arkansas Musicworks is a Bentonville based retail music store and internet retailer that offers onsite music instruction. Starting in 2008 and having just celebrated their ninth anniversary last month, Musicworks and its sister company, the Arkansas Music Conservatory are located at 2400 SE J St. in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Greg Price was no stranger to the music industry when he acquired the assets of a piano store that... Read More

Don Dugan and Tasha Stratton

Don Dugan and Tasha Stratton are the proud owners of Dugan’s Irish Pub, now a fixture in downtown Little Rock.  However, getting the restaurant open and running wasn’t simple.  They opened in October of 2010, in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s.  “It was during the worst economic crisis in decades, and underwriters were being very cautious with a high risk industry, but we were too hard headed – or too stupid to stop,” stated Tasha Stratton.  Despite the economic condition and the tight credit market, Arkansas Capital Corporation assisted them with a U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loan.  

This was their second restaurant, having owned and operated Markham Street Pub and Grill from 2006 to 2011 when it was sold.  Following his dream to have an Irish themed Pub in the downtown Little Rock area, they began researching locations, found the perfect place at 401 East 3rd... Read More

Kitchen Essentials

Russellville, Arkansas and a gourmet kitchen supply story may not seem to go together. But they are working perfectly for Becki Bryson and her Kitchen Essentials Store. Becki, her husband Clayton, and sons have always loved cooking gourmet meals, but found themselves driving all over Arkansas and out of Arkansas to find the right item for a specialty meal. Now, like any other Arkansas River Valley food enthusiast, they just go to their store; Kitchen Essentials located in the City Mall, 407 N. Arkansas Avenue, Suite 10, Russellville, Arkansas. Bryson opened her store in 2013, and business is still going strong. With her background deeply rooted in marketing, Bryson has been able to keep her store in the forefront of social media, multi-media advertising, and simply word of mouth.

Bryson followed all the advice and credits her success in large part to the assistance of the Russellville Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC), a resource partner of... Read More