La.’s 2013 business development best of six years

Agency finds good year for La. business

Louisiana had its best year for business development in the past six years, launching projects that will result in about 27,000 new direct and indirect jobs and $26.4 billion in new capital investment, the state’s Economic Development Department said in a Monday report.

The agency said the state secured more retained jobs, more new jobs and more capital investment than in any of the previous five years. Louisiana announced dozens of company expansions or relocations in 2013 and will experience significant job growth from projects announced over the past few years that are still ramping up.

Working with local and regional economic development partners, LED said it secured 67 major project wins in 2013, including 49 expansion or retention projects and 18 new projects.

The wins occurred in Louisiana’s traditional industries, such as chemical manufacturing and agribusiness, as well as in new growth industries, such as clean tech, digital media and software development.

The projects are expected to retain about 18,000 jobs and create about 8,370 new direct jobs and 18,625 new indirect jobs.

Among other highlights in the report:

  • The agency noted that during the year, LED and Louisiana Small Business Development Centers’ efforts generated about 1,281 new jobs, retained 415 jobs and helped launch 171 new businesses representing $55.4 million in debt and equity investment for Louisiana small businesses. These services also generated an estimated increase in sales of more than $34 million, representing a more than 100 percent increase from the prior year.
  • During 2013, the LSBDC network participated in the LED State Trade and Export Promotion Program. It worked with existing firms to assess their interest in international trade and referred 88 businesses into the program.
  • In 2013, LED’s Office of Entertainment Industry Development oversaw a record year for television and movie production in Louisiana, with film companies submitting audited expenditures of nearly $810 million in 2013, a 12.7 percent increase over last year.