The soul of the business culture that is Baton Rouge was in full force yesterday as The District, an upper-end apartment complex being installed in the former Coastal Bridge Co. eyesore on Perkins Road broke ground. For those of us who live around this area, this is good news, a modernization of what was a dead stretch of road through the south side ... and then I’m reading that the design was with a Dallas architecture firm. My concern, my criticism, is that of the 154 architects and architecture firms in our own city the builder, Block, couldn’t find one who could do the work. Perhaps I’m picking on Block, since this is the kind of thing that businesses here are doing to each other every day.
Allow me to clue some of you business owners in on something — Baton Rouge businesses rely on codependency to survive. If you are building a building, hire local people. If you decide to buy a fleet of vehicles or a few hundred pens and pencils, buy them locally. At least give it the old best effort before shipping your work off to another state or country. You may be surprised but someone here would actually love to do the work for you.
In the same news from yesterday was an article on how the state puts the screws to established business here. This behavior is expected of the state, we have a proud history of beating down business owners, but business-to-business is just shameful.
Give someone local the work and our community benefits. Send it to Dallas and Dallas benefits. That’s a shame.