March 19, 2018

Business Briefs (Southwest Times Record, Arkansas) »

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Arvest Equipment Finance hits $100 million

Arvest Equipment Finance (AEF) closed more than $100 million in new production in 2017, a first for the division of Arvest Bank.

AEF president Eric Bunnell cited a doubling of the company’s vendor production — from $7 million in 2016 to $18.8 million in 2017 — as a key in reaching $106.6 million in new production for the year.

“We continued to see strong support from the commercial lenders throughout the Arvest footprint, and were able to help structure equipment transactions for many bank customers,” Bunnell said in a news release. “I am also excited about our growth in vendor production. We continue to expand our external salesforce and inform the dealers about what we have to offer.”

AEF also increased its total portfolio by 5.9 percent, from $234.7 million in 2016 to $248.6 million in 2017. AEF’s total number of contracts increased as well, from 1,816 in 2016 to 2,168 in 2017.

Additionally, Bunnell lauded sales support specialist Aaron Loum for earning the Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) designation in 2017. AEF now employs nine of the more than 500 CLFPs in the United States and Canada. That represents the eighth-highest total of CLFPs among all companies.

Spring break benefits Arkansas restaurants

Spring break is good for sales at independent restaurants in Arkansas, which sees one of the biggest increases in revenue at its eateries among all 50 states.

That’s one of the key findings from Womply’s “State of Restaurants” report, which analyzed transactions at 26,000 small, independent restaurants in all 50 states during every day of the 2017 calendar year.

Additional Spring Break findings for Arkansas include: Local restaurants in Arkansas saw seven of their best revenue days of 2017 during the two-week period of spring break; local eateries saw a 27 percent increase in revenue compared to the other weekends in March during spring break; the boost from spring break results in March being the best month for sales in Arkansas; local restaurants in Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona are among the other states to see the most positive impact on sales from spring break.

Moonlight Games builds ‘Consortya’

Moonlight Games LLC, a Bentonville-based business with Fort Smith ties, is building a new video game called “Consortya” that lets players merge a love of music and games.

″‘Consortya’ allows a musical artist to broadcast their live music to all of the people who are playing the game,” Andy Martin, a Fort Smith native, said in a news release to the Times Record. “The company has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them complete their project.”

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding website that allows people to put money towards new ideas and products in exchange for rewards such as the product itself.

Martin says the market analyst firm DigiCaptial projects the gaming industry to “bring in $170 billion globally this year” and that Moonlight Games “hopes to be an outlet for game developers who end up leaving the area due to the low number of opportunities in gaming.”

Martin graduated from Southside High School before earning his bachelor’s in physics and computer science at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a masters degree in computer science game development.

Cherokee Nation Tech lands $21 Million contract

Cherokee Nation Technology Solutions was recently awarded a $21 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s Viral Disease Branch. Over the next five years, CNTS will provide scientific and technical support for infectious disease research.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue our support of the WRAIR Viral Disease Branch and its very important mission of protecting and sustaining the health of the U.S. military,” John Hansen, CNTS operations general manager, said in a news release. “CNTS’ professionals, with their extensive medical and technical knowledge and experience, will help ensure these vital programs succeed.”

The Viral Disease Branch conducts infectious disease research, with an emphasis on viral disease threats such as dengue, Zika, influenza, adenovirus and other infections that pose a potential risk to service men and women.

Through this contract, CNTS will provide epidemiologic disease surveillance and sample collection, basic and exploratory science and translational research, as well as product research and development in an effort to license and field medical countermeasures against infectious disease threats.

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