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    Arkansas Oil Marketers Upbeat

    Attendance up at AOMA convenience and trade show; new state lottery a winner with retailers.

    By Hank Behar

    HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- For those looking for signs that the recession may be easing up, a glance at the recent convenience and trade show by the Arkansas Oil Marketers Association (AOMA) could offer a reason for optimism.

    "We had one of our most successful trade shows this year," said Ann Hines, AOMA executive director. "Our attendance was up over last year. I have to attribute part of that to a rising expectation that the worst of the recession may be over. We alluded to that with our up-beat theme -- 'Beat The Odds' -- playing off the fact that the state lottery, which was just started in September of last year, has proved to be a winning idea. It has contributed much needed funds to our state's scholarship program, and added dollars to our members' coffers, with its 5 percent sales commission, which can increase to 6.5 percent from commissions on winning tickets."

    The show ran March 30 and April 1, in Hot Springs, Ark., featuring 111 exhibitors, 193 booths and 32 sponsors, including Shell Oil, Federated Insurance, PepsiAmericas, Coke and Exxon.

    In other news from the Razorback state, the state legislature held a mostly fiscally oriented session this year, which included a proposal to set the state scholarships to four-year colleges at $5,000 annually, and $2,500 annually for two-year colleges.

    By Hank Behar
    • About Hank Behar

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