Event Details

Communities face significant challenges in today's changing economy. More than ever, leadership must be prepared to help their communities meet these challenges: to capitalize on new developments, to turn potential obstacles into opportunities, and to enhance the quality of life for those who live, visit, and invest in the area.

The Mid-South Basic Economic Development Course (BEDC) provides this preparation. It offers a general survey of community economic development by focusing primarily on strategies and practices. It is an intensive introduction to the fundamentals of economic development that prepares participants to help their communities meet the competitive challenges they face in fostering economic advancement.

We are currently in the planning stages for the 2019 course and the agenda and speakers will be posted soon. To view the agenda for the 2018 course, please click here.

Please see the information below regarding details about the course and how to register. If you need more information or have questions, please contact Shelley Short at shelley@aedce.orgor 501.210.4206.

Course Information

Who Should Attend

The Mid-South BEDC is designed for community leaders who participate in the process of community economic development at all scales–local, regional, state, and federal. The course includes elected officials, government agency staff, planners, utility and transportation personnel, business leaders, real estate developers, other community volunteers, educators, and chamber or economic development organization professionals and their staff. This rich blend of participants is one of the many benefits of the course.

What the Course Includes

Topics to include:

  • Business Expansion & Retention
  • Strategic Planning
  • Marketing/Attraction
  • Economic Development Finance
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Development
  • Community/Neighborhood Development
  • Real Estate Development and Reuse
  • Workforce Development
  • Managing Economic Development Organizations
  • Economic Development Ethics
  • Site Selection Experience
  • Electives – TBD

The Mid-South Basic Course will be held in the Bob Lamb Conference Room at the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce at 1200 West Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas.

There is not a designated host hotel. Guests are encouraged to stay at the properties located in the River Market area in downtown Little Rock. There are several options to choose from among the major hotel brands. For specific guidance, please contact the AEDCE office at 501.210.4206

Registration & Costs

Early Bird: $575

Deadline: March 8, 2019 (Registration must be received and arrangements made for full payment.)

Regular Registration: $625

Deadline: March 25, 2019

A limited number of seats are available, so please register as soon as possible. Registrations will be accepted on a space-available basis. Once filled, cancellations occasionally occur so late registrants will be placed on a waiting list

IEDC manual – "Introduction to Economic Development"  ** New Edition

Available to Mid-South BEDC participants at a reduced price of $35. You may order a copy by including this additional charge with your registration fee. (See "Registration Form.") Purchasing the manual is not required for the course, but it is highly recommended. It is an excellent supplement to the course and is required for those who intend to sit for the CEcD Certification exam.

Refund Policy

Refunds for cancellation must be requested in writing.

Cancellation requests received by March 8th will receive a full refund, less a $50 processing fee; cancellation requests received from March 9th – March 22nd will receive a refund of $250. Cancellation requests received after March 22nd are not entitled to a refund.


Notice and completed registration forms must be received by March 28, 2019


Full or partial scholarships for registration are available to Arkansas residents.

Click here to download the Scholarship Application Form

Priority Scholarship Deadline: February 22, 2019

Applications will be accepted after February 22nd and will be considered if funds are available.

Application Fee: There is no fee to apply, however, should the applicant be awarded a scholarship but fail to attend the course or provide proper notice by March 22, 2019, a $75 fee will be assessed to the applicant.

Please submit applications to shelley@aedce.org.


Course Registration With IEDC Manual

Course Registration and the optional IEDC Manual - Introduction to Economic Development
Early bird pricing available through March 8, 2019

Early Bird Price $610
Standard Price $660
Course Registration ONLY

Course Registration Only - NO IEDC Manual
Early bird pricing available through March 8, 2019

Early Bird Price $575
Standard Price $625


Sponsor Registration

Course registration only - if you desire the IEDC Manual, please purchase that separately by selecting IEDC Manual Only.


Accreditation and IEDC

This course is accredited by the International Economic Development Council, the nation's largest membership organization for economic developers. IEDC's mission is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for communities and IEDC's members and partners to build economically strong, sustainable communities. The course serves as the equivalent of IEDC's "Introduction to Economic Development," and therefore may be applied toward requirements to sit for the Certified Economic Developers (CEcD) exam.

For more details, please visit the IEDC website at www.iedconline.org or phone 201.223.7800

IEDC Professional Development Course Offerings

IEDC is the world leader in economic development education and training. Every year thousands rely on our practical education tools to expand their economic development knowledge, effectiveness, and gain professional recognition. IEDC offers educational opportunities for economic development professionals in every stage of their career. Make it a priority to assess and improve your skill set, and you'll increase your value to your organization and enhance the future of your career.

Click on the image to the left to download the 2019 Professional Development Catalog