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News in brief


Merger of accountants makes 8th place

Two regional accounting firms have combined their activities to create the 8th largest firm in the country, which will be known as Forvis.

Forvis is a combination of BKD of Springfield, Mo., and Dixon Hughes Goodman of Charlotte, NC. The company, which will operate in 27 states, the UK and the Cayman Islands, will be led by chief executive Tom Watson, who was BKD’s chief executive. senior leader.

The company has offices in Little Rock, Fort Smith and Rogers with a satellite office in Pine Bluff.

“For years, BKD and DHG have built strong reputations as professional, high-value customer service companies,” Watson said in a statement. “We have established complementary geographic footprints and strong capabilities in a range of critical service areas. Together, as one organization, we will deepen our team even further, allowing us to continue to serve our existing customer base while providing the resources needed to serve a growing upstream customer base.”

Forvis will have 5,400 employees and approximately $1.4 billion in revenue.

— André Moreau

Starbucks is investigating restroom throttling

Starbucks plans to close its restrooms to the general public, reserving its restrooms for latte-drinking customers.

Howard Schultz, chief executive of the coffee giant, revealed the company’s intentions during a conversation with the New York Times DealBook DC policy forum on Thursday, citing a growing mental health issue and staff safety among the reasons. of the decision.

“We serve 100 million people at Starbucks,” Schultz said. “There is a security issue in our stores in terms of people using our stores as public restrooms.”

Keeping Starbucks employees and customers safe is also important to Schultz to ensure both groups are satisfied and protected, he said.

“We need to strengthen our stores and keep our employees safe,” he told The Times. “I don’t know if we can keep our bathrooms open.”

The decision would reverse a 2018 policy implemented by the company that opened its stores to anyone after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location. The men were at the store for a business meeting when one of them asked to use the restroom. A manager told him that the restrooms were for paying customers only.

— The Washington Post

The index falls from 18.19 to end at 766.39

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest state-based public companies, closed Friday at 766.39, down from 18.19.

Shares of Walmart Inc. rose less than 1% to top the index. Shares of Dillard’s Inc. fell 12.3%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of December 30, 1997.