Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Arkansas veterinarian Ricky Hughes, DVM, is a practice owner again, partly because of a $20,000 grant designed to create jobs and help small businesses like his.
The Economic Development Program Plus (EDPPlus) grant supported the purchase of veterinary equipment and the hiring of three full-time employees at Hughes Animal Hospital in Malvern, Arkansas.
The 4,800-square-foot practice, constructed on the site of a former KFC restaurant, held a ribbon-cutting Sept. 28 and will hold a public open house Oct. 14.
Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and Southern Bancorp teamed up to help Dr. Hughes. Southern Bancorp focuses on providing loans in underserved, rural communities while FHLB Dallas oversees the grants, which are not repaid — essentially free money.
“This community’s history and economy are rooted in agriculture so there is a great need for the service Dr. Hughes provides in this area,” said Jeremy Harper, the fire chief in Malvern, a rural city 45 miles southwest of Little Rock.
Dr. Hughes owned a practice for 24 years before he sold it and went to work for the American Brahman Breeders Association and other trade groups.
“I’m 57 years old and still have a lot of years left,” said Dr. Hughes, a ranch owner with a herd of 80 cows.
More information about EDPPlus grants is available at http://bit.ly/2kgYTQ2.