A K-12 teacher in Helena. Photo by Brock Meeler

At the southernmost point of the Crossroads region sits Phillips County, one of the oldest counties in Arkansas. Phillips County’s proximity to the Mississippi River makes it a leader in agriculture (especially cotton) and barge traffic. Just 65 miles south of Memphis, Helena Harbor offers a quarter-mile, nine-foot-deep slackwater harbor, which features a 60-ton overhead bridge crane for loading and unloading from the Mississippi River. Helena Harbor offers 4,000 acres of flood-protected, shovel-ready industrial sites and rail service. 

Helena-West Helena, the county’s largest city, has undergone a renaissance over the last decade. Helena has seen an influx of young professionals and business upstarts such as Thrive, which offers affordable strategic planning and marketing services to local small businesses and non-profits. Helena was a thriving blues community in the 1940s and 1950s and continues the tradition each year by hosting the King Biscuit Blues Festival, one of the nation’s foremost showcases of blues music.