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Everyone Can Play A Role In Economic Development

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Our region led the nation in industrial projects in recent years until the covid slowdown, oil crisis, and impact of two major hurricanes. Southwest Louisiana still has several major industrial projects in the pipeline and we are confident there will be construction starts in 2021 or early 2022.

At the Alliance, we continually get suggestions as to how we can grow our area, and we appreciate your ideas. Yes, those who serve on various boards like port and airport boards and elected officials at the city and parish level play a vital role. We’ve always said everyone can play a role in promoting the area and helping it grow. Front-line workers in restaurants and hotels are key to making a good first impression. Even though our area streets are filled with debris due to the hurricanes, we all can do our part in keeping our street, yard, and business
litter free. We will give a pass on this until the construction and vegetative debris is picked up.

In a year of deep uncertainty and economic turmoil, Louisiana’s eight regional organizations, known as REAL, see the importance of learning more about the changing nature of economic development by convening the Statewide Economic Development Summit. Returning for a fifth year, the Summit will be presented by Entergy. 

This year, due to the covid-19 restrictions the Louisiana Economic Development Summit will be conducted virtually. This will give many more people a chance to attend. You can be there in your home or office rather than spending two days in Baton Rouge.

Governmental and community leaders, economic developers, business owners, real estate developers, and interested citizens will have the opportunity to share in open dialogue and learn about national trends on economic recovery and accelerating future growth in the future of our state and area. 

“The two-day Summit will take place virtually, featuring national experts on trends in economic recovery and opportunities for growth. The goal of the Statewide Economic Development Summit is to strengthen the state’s economy through shared ideas and business practices” said Adam Knapp, President & CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.   

Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s, will serve as keynote speaker for the event. His presentation will focus on looking past the pandemic and presidential election, leveraging data from Moody’s back to normal index to forecast economic stability for the state and country. Other topics will include: 

  • Economic Inclusion by Fixing Information Poverty
  • Growing as an Intentional Inclusionist
  • Understanding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a Function of Leadership
  • Expanding Access to Broadband in Louisiana 
  • Outside the Box: Designing Creative Incentive Programs to Attract Remote Workers

As this year’s chairman of the Regional Economic Alliance of Louisiana (REAL) I invite you to attend this fully virtual experience. Live sessions will air between 9 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, December 8 and Thursday, December 10, with additional pre-recorded content available on-demand for attendees. 

Ticket pricing includes access to programming for both days of the Summit and exclusive access to pre-recorded content and presentations, and the cost is only $50 per person. Details and registration are available at 

By taking advantage of this opportunity, we all can become more fully informed as what it will take to keep our area’s economy strong.


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