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Downtown Little Rock brings back its ambassador program to improve public service and city hospitality



Little Rock, Arkansas – The ambassador program in Downtown Little Rock is returning to offer better hospitality and public assistance on city streets.

The city had previously established a comparable ambassador program, but it was discontinued upon the arrival of COVID-19.

“About a year ago, along with a group of downtown businesses, we put together an email to the City of Little Rock Board of Directors and Mayor Frank Scott Jr., and we also started an online petition that was signed by over a thousand people,” said Jack Sundell, owner of The Root Café. “It was asking them to bring back the ambassador program that had existed before the pandemic in downtown Little Rock.”

Block by Block runs this program, and eight full-time community service professionals work seven days a week.

I’ve been here for about a month, learning all about Little Rock and hiring these folks,” said Jake White, project manager with Block by Block. “It’s been a long process. We saw a lot of people to get to these guys and we got them all hired and we’ve been training them since then and now we’re on the streets operational.

Delivering hospitality and public assistance, strolling patrols, monitoring, reporting, and increasing contact with nearby companies are among the ambassador program team’s primary responsibilities.

“I think similarly when someone visits a city, you know, it’s incredible for the city to have customer service representatives of its own,” said Sundell. “Who are out and about on the streets of downtown and they can really do great things to give visitors to downtown a great experience in Little Rock, so it might be recommending a hole-in-the-wall restaurant they wouldn’t find on their own or telling them about a concert that’s going on at the River Market amphitheater, so they can really play a big part in giving people a great first impression of Little Rock.”

The city had approved funding for the initiative back in December, which is worth half a million dollars.

This is something we’ve talked about as a downtown, as a community, for a long time,” said Gabe Holmstrom, executive director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership. “It was authorized by the city board last December. We had to go through the RFP process and now finally we’re able to get them on the ground.

This program is starting at a time when the city is expanding and changing, starting with large investment projects and master planning for the downtown area.


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