BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Walmart Shareholders Meeting officially began Wednesday, June 1.

Kalene Griffith, the president and CEO of Visit Bentonville, said the Walmart Shareholders Meeting that’s bringing in a thousand interns and over ten thousand associates from all over the world will have a huge economic impact throughout all of Northwest Arkansas.

‘They eat at our restaurants and they go to our stores. They hang out at our attractions,” said Griffith.

Griffith said the boost in cash flow throughout the area is much needed after the two years of virtual events and business being hit hard by the pandemic.

Brayden Douglas, the manager of Bentonville Taco and Tamale Co., said besides keeping his servers’ wallets full, the extra customers events like Walmart Shareholders brings in makes for a boost in the work atmosphere as well.

“There’s usually a line out the door and it usually carries on until dinner time so we are very thankful for that and the business it brings in,” said Douglas.

Serving up food and greeting new faces is easy when restaurants plan ahead by ordering extra food and bringing in more staff.

Griffith said even if it’s not your business, it’s your neighbors, so the impact will be felt by everyone. Now she said it’s just our jobs to showcase what all Northwest Arkansas has to offer.

“We have that southern personality and that southern charm and it’s really important for us to make sure people feel welcome when they come to our communities,” said Griffith.

The shareholders meeting will last through Friday, June 3.