One Little Rock organization is pushing more than ever to try and promote a more positive image of Southwest Little Rock.
The Southwest Little Rock Business Alliance was put in place last year and it is now pushing to bring more people to that part of the city. It is an area often linked to crime, but chairman Miguel Lopez said there is more positive than negative going on.
"I think if you don't live here and don't spend any of your time here, you don't see all of the good that's coming out,” Lopez said.
He said new construction is showing promising growth for the neighborhood and people who live there are excited about it.
"We want to highlight all the amazing things from the brand new Little Rock Southwest High School, which is the second largest construction project in the state. It's going to house 1300+ students. The brand new Children's Hospital clinic is a strong asset to the community,” he said.
Lopez’s goal with the alliance is to showcase to everyone that Southwest Little Rock is a vital part to the Little Rock community. He said the neighborhood is home to more than 37,000 people.
"There are some challenges, and one of those and I think that we are addressing, is the lack of connectivity with city hall,” Lopez said.
But Lopez said he is working to get Southwest Little Rock more involved.
"We're sponsors of the Christmas parade, which came back this year. We're going to help with the Fourth of July fireworks parade and just aiding civilian lead efforts and just being a part of the community,” Lopez said.
Vice president JD Lowery said the Southwest Little Rock Business Alliance is also working to recruit businesses.
"We definitely want people to understand that this is a safe place to be and come and there's a lot of great things going on in the area,” Lowery said.
The neighborhood is home to businesses like Goodwill and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative.
“So, there's a lot of good happening out here in Southwest Little Rock, but again, if you're not out here banging the drum, someone else is going to control the narrative,” Lopez said.
Lowery said the Business Alliance has upcoming meetings to work on various project with local owners. He said the alliance is also always looking for more owners to hop on board to help spread the positive message.