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Donít lose sight of portís positive impact

Posted by: George Swift on Sunday, September 22, 2019

With recent events at the Port of Lake Charles, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance/Chamber SWLA believes it is important not to lose sight of the positive impact the Port of Lake Charles has on all of our livelihoods.

The Port of Lake Charles is the jewel of Southwest Louisiana. Economists and economic development professionals regularly point out that the port’s location, amenities, and leadership keep the facility at the front of the proverbial “class,” which in recent years has led to historic levels of growth and opportunity.

Created by the Louisiana Legislature in 1924, the port is one of the most powerful regional economic drivers on the local and international stage.

Here is why the port should be supported and nurtured:

• Thousands of jobs have been created at companies housed at and affiliated with the port.

• Two casinos are on port property and generate $62.8 million in revenue monthly providing $14.9 million in taxable sales monthly.

• The Port’s board and administration have negotiated option agreements with several companies who will export natural gas or convert the product into other liquids.

• In the next five years, port officials plan to oversee $222 million in new construction and improvements.

• The Port is mandated by state statue to maintain the Calcasieu Ship Channel which is crucial to existing and future industry.

• Up to 46 cents of every dollar in our area is generated from industry, most port-related.

Any slowdown in growth due to change of direction and negative perceptions should be avoided. We urge care to be taken by the Port Board to ensure that predictable, businesslike principles continue so that Southwest Louisiana and our state can take advantage of the historic growth we are experiencing. Several large industrial projects are pending that will create thousands of jobs. The Port Board members have a tremendous responsibility to continue their key role in our area’s development. The SWLA Alliance/Chamber SWLA supports positive initiatives by the Port and will work in tandem with the board and staff to make sure area residents and business will reap economic rewards improving our overall quality of life.

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