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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. 

Small Business Saturday Is Prime Opportunity to Impact the Local Community

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Wednesday, November 25, 2020

For those observing the calendar, 2020 is coming to an end. For most of us, this year of pandemic and hurricanes cannot end quickly enough. 

Business owners – from small to large corporations – have had to adapt in ways unimaginable. COVID-19 alone has shown us that adjustment and brain power are needed to survive. The storms which blew through our local have forced both customers and business owners to rethink how goods and services are going to be provided today and those changes could remain into the future.

Economic Outlook Positive For SWLA

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The year 2020 will never leave our collective memory.

Business Recovery Center gets assistance

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

When SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza visited the SEED Center Sept. 22, a plea was made for SBA counselors to help. It took a while and with prodding from Sen. Bill Cassidy, we now have the help we need.

 Last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration sent counselors to help with one-on-one assistance for businesses. Director Tanya Garfield of the SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West said the center will provide a one stop location for businesses to access a variety of specialized help.

Our SW La. businesses need help right now

Posted by: George Swift on Sunday, September 27, 2020

Without help, a lot of our valuable businesses will close. Not only do these businesses provide goods and services for us, they employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. Local governments also benefit from badly need sales and property tax to offset the unexpected expenses incurred from Laura.

Our five-parish region of Southwest Louisiana has been severely impacted by the triple threat of COVID-19, Hurricane Laura with more hurricanes possible, and the election-year economy.

ALLIANCE FOCUSED ON BUSINESS RECOVERY

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Just remember this. The fighting entrepreneurial spirit of Southwest Louisiana helped build the ship channel. We have survived several Hurricanes including Audrey, Rita, Ike, and Gustav. We are called to rebuild again. 

SWLA Economic Development Alliance Focused on Business Recovery

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Just remember this. The fighting entrepreneurial spirit of Southwest Louisiana helped build the ship channel. We have survived several Hurricanes including Audrey, Rita, Ike, and Gustav. We are called to rebuild again. Cameron now has Cheniere LNG, Cameron LNG, and Venture Global LNG under construction. For the most part, the government buildings in Cameron survived, so they have a foundation to build on, unlike before. Likewise in Calcasieu Parish, we have over 20 industrial facilities which are or will be operating soon, and many other resources to draw upon.
 
Yes, we have been knocked down like never before, but our spirit and dedication will see us through.
 
If we are work together we will Rebuild SWLA , better and stronger than before.

La. economic development strong despite challenges

Posted by: George Swift on Monday, August 17, 2020

The coronavirus impact, economic crash, low oil prices, and strong competition from other states pushed organizations such as our Alliance to the limits. 

On the state level, efforts are “led” by LED, the Louisiana Economic Development Department. Appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Don Pierson, a long-time economic development professional and friend of Southwest Louisiana, serves as secretary. In the last few months, the agency has operated on fast-evolving multiple tracks.

The business impact of coronavirus

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The impact of coronavirus is devastating to many aspects of our lives. First and foremost is the impact of over 3,800 deaths in Louisiana and over 170 deaths in our five- parish region alone. The loss and sorrow to the families will always be with us. Thousands more have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Hurricane Season Preparation Are a Must

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Good business leaders prepare for hurricane season because it makes sense and allows an enterprise to operate utilizing specific guidelines prior to and after a weather event.

Business owners know, even if their operations are suspended or facilities are destroyed, there is a good possibility that the culmination of good planning, loans, government assistance and hard work will allow them to resume operations again.

Restaurants need financial assistance and our support

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Posted from the American Press, July 21, 2020

This is not a “Help Wanted” ad for restaurants, even though many do need workers.

This message is about the need for customer support and financial assistance to keep many restaurants in business.

Government works despite divide

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

As we have just completed our nation’s 244th Fourth of July Celebration, this is a good time to pause and reflect on our nation’s system of government. In 2020, we are going through extremely difficult times. There’s the COVID-19 pandemic, the crash of our economy, the oil crisis, global issues, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a sharp political divide in our country.

Historic Challenges Face Southwest Louisiana

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The mission of the SWLA Economic Development Alliance is to be the regional leader for business and workforce development resulting in improved quality of life for all residents in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jeff Davis parishes. The mission of the Chamber SWLA is to serve as the voice for the regional business community.

Welcome to opportunity in SW La.

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

“Welcome to Opportunity” was used by the Alliance in our international marketing for several years. In spite of all the challenges of current times, this still may be an excellent theme.

In order to move forward, it’s good to look at our history, what we need to do today, and to present a vision for the future. In January of this year, our five-parish region was leading the nation with growth. Low unemployment, multi-billion and multi-million dollar investments had been made and a qualified workforce led to the area developing the reputation as one of the most dynamic regions in the United States.

COVID-19 Should Not End Business Opportunity

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

As business owners race to open and begin servicing clients and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, some are trying to figure out if their enterprises are viable while others are closing permanently. In recent weeks, economic developers, investors, business strategist, life coaches, etc. have been sharing a message with the world business community. Essentially, the idea is that times are changing and common business practices and models are quickly becoming part of our past. This is not the first time business sectors have had to reshape and customize themselves to societal shifts and economic downturns.

Phase one begins re-opening

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Friday May 15, 2020, will be remembered as the day that Louisiana began to re-open after the March 16 Stay-at-Home order by the governor. In our region, perhaps more businesses and industries continued operation than most other states.

Our industrial plants continued operation, a number of grocery, building supply, and retail big boxes remained opened after being deemed essential. Many restaurants continued to operate with pick-up and delivery options, and drive-thru restaurants probably had record sales. Most folks came to believe that all businesses are essential including hair and nail salons, gyms, and retail shops including the mall.

Louisiana Opening For Business –With Stipulations

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is issuing a proclamation that will allow more businesses to open up Friday. This effort will go a long way in getting the state economy functioning after being paralyzed for almost two months due to COVID-19.

Business Issues Affect Us All

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The results of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact all of us. The business community has been severely affected, with many closed. Therefore, thousands of our friends and neighbors in our region are out of work. The priority for all should be health and safety. It is imperative that we follow the recommendations of our medical community and continue to practice social distancing, frequent handwashing, and other steps to insure that the virus does not widely spread. Our region has fared better than some but we have had too many cases and deaths from the coronavirus.

2020 Census: Time for urgency in SW La.

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Our region continues to lead the nation in industrial projects.  Over $44 billion in projects are completed or wrapping up.  We are anticipating a second wave of projects to begin this year, keeping in mind, our region is impacted by international events.  The Lake Charles MSA (which is Calcasieu and Cameron parishes) is projected to lead the state in job growth the next two years.

Region is ready for entrepreneurs

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, February 18, 2020

If you have thought about opening a business or have a business idea you want to explore, or if you operate an existing business that needs expansion or re-imaging, then next month in SW La. is for you.

Regionalism is important for continued progress

Posted by: George Swift on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

To compete internationally our best shot is to keep the regional approach. As has been said …to succeed we must think globally, act locally.

Governmental issues key to SW La. success in 2020

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Successful resolution to many issues we face in Southwest Louisiana will require participation in the government process by citizens and the business community, large and small. The Chamber SWLA, part of the Economic Development Alliance, has a very proactive agenda for this first year of a new decade.

Strong productivity equals strong economy

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Lake Charles MSA ranked 10th in the nation for 2018 in per capita GDP. The people of SW La. can be justly proud of this accomplishment. It serves as testimony to a region producing goods and services for markets outside our region, which in turn brings more money, jobs and businesses into our local economy.

Now is the time to pull together

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Voter turnout was very disappointing in our recent major election for governor and all statewide officials, the entire Louisiana Legislature, police jury, sheriff, and local positions. Statewide, about 50 percent of voters turned out, but Calcasieu had about 45 percent turnout in most races. A majority of 45 percent means that about 25-30 percent of our voters chose our elected officials.

Most candidates worked nonstop to earn your vote and they deserved better.

Certified business sites complement industrial sites

Posted by: Gus Fontenot on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Louisiana’s Certified Sites program was first launched in 2012 to enhance the state’s business-friendly environment and to help attract investors looking to locate and start their operations quickly. The program was first intended for sites of 25 acres or more and was targeted toward heavy industrial projects.

Opportunities for jobs are still out there

Posted by: R.B. Smith on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

In addition to building the multi-billion dollar industrial mega-projects, construction work on roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, retail shopping, restaurants, hotels, apartment complexes, and residences has created jobs for hundreds of SW La. residents. The goods and services produced and used during this economic boom created a growing economy and more jobs in every employment sector.

SWLA Branding Enhanced In Order To Keep Up With High Gear Region

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Earlier this month, the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitor’s Bureau announced a new branding effort for the region.

Free enterprise and vision built Southwest Louisiana

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Many of our younger generations may not realize that the American economy is fueled by free markets and free enterprise. Southwest Louisiana’s growth was spurred by a visionary entrepreneur, J.B. Watkins. He purchased thousands of acres, marketed it all over the nation, sold property, and according to articles, was basically a one-man chamber of commerce.

Area economic outlook remains strong

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Louisiana Economic Outlook was released last week by LSU Economist, Emeritus, Loren Scott. Again this year, SW La. is projected to lead the state in job growth.

Cameron Parish Is the Foundation for SWLA Growth

Posted by: George Swift & Eric Cormier on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

On a daily basis, economists, business developers, and governmental leaders marvel at the indicators (job growth, gross domestic product, sales tax generation, etc.) which regularly demonstrate that Cameron Parish is impacting the local, state and global market.

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