AN INSIDE LOOK AT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE CAPITAL REGION

Published December 12, 2013

Featured Articles

BRAC and BRAF Release Report on Impacts of Proposed New Municipality in East Baton Rouge Parish

BRAC and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) recently released a jointly commissioned report outlining the potential impacts of a new, separate municipality proposed to be incorporated in the southern part of East Baton Rouge Parish. While BRAC and BRAF have not taken a formal public position on this proposed new city, the research compiled in this report raises a number of complex and complicated questions about whether it is the best approach. LSU economists, led by Dr. Jim Richardson, researched potential financial impacts to the parish with the goal of helping residents understand the context and potential outcomes of what they are being asked to support through the petition and voting process. Click here for a summary and the entire research document.

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BRAC’s 2014 Economic Outlook Forecasts Surge of Growth

BRAC recently presented its 2014 Economic Outlook during a Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week (BREW) breakfast. The presentation included data on unemployment, job distribution, real estate market trends, tax revenues, and population growth projections. Each year BRAC’s completes an Economic Outlook to help regional business leaders plan for the coming year through intensive analysis of a broad array of economic indicators.

The analysis contains several note-worthy highlights:

The 2014 presentation, as well as presentations from previous years, can be found at www.brac.org/ecoanalysis.

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BRAC Congratulates Cortec on Relocation Announcement

BRAC congratulates Cortec on their relocation announcement. Cortec, a design, manufacturing, sales, and service organization specializing in flow control applications for the oil and gas industry, will locate a manufacturing and distribution facility in West Baton Rouge Parish. The relocation will involve a $6 million investment in the new facility and will create thirty permanent jobs, with an average salary of $55,000 per year, plus benefits. BRAC, along with Louisiana Economic Development (LED), assisted the company in finding the site and identified the applicable incentives. The new 35,000-square-foot facility will be located on six acres in West Baton Rouge Parish, along Highway 1.

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Special Announcement

BRAC Insider will not be published on December 26, 2013 due to the Christmas Holiday. Look for a new email format in January 2014!

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Baton Rouge Economic Climate Update

Current Update on the Baton Rouge Area Economy

For a recent update and analysis on the economic climate of the Capital Region, visit brac.org/ecu.

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BRAC Business Resource Center

Five Keys to Great Nonverbal Communication

Researchers Allan and Barbara Pease found that 83 percent of communication is nonverbal, meaning that nonverbal communication is vital to an effective presentation. This article provides tips about conducting a memorable and interesting presentation. Maintain eye contact with your audience throughout the presentation rather than looking at the PowerPoint. In order to influence the audience to trust your knowledge, use confident body language and hand gestures. Other keys to an entertaining presentation include using a dynamic vocal delivery, using a variety of enthusiastic facial expressions, and using all of your presentation space rather than remaining stationary. For more tips on delivering an interesting presentation, view the entire article here.

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Square Too Expensive? Try These Alternatives

Many small companies use the Square Reader, a credit card reader which attaches to your mobile device, to minimize transaction costs. However, effective February 1, 2014, Square will no longer offer flat fees for small companies. Instead of charging the current $275 for up to $21,000 in monthly transactions, the company will charge a 2.75 percent swipe fee, or 3.5 percent plus $0.15 for manual entries. This article outlines other mobile payment processing options. PayPal offers a free app and device, like Square, and charges a 2.7 percent swipe fee, slightly less than Square. PayPal and Square charge the same fee for manual transactions. Intuit offers an option to pay $12.95 a month with a swipe rate of 1.75 percent. At that rate, Intuit would be a cheaper option for companies that process at least $1,295 per month. To learn more about each mobile payment processing option, read the entire article here.

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Five Tips for Maximizing LinkedIn for Your Business

LinkedIn is a great tool to build relationships with colleagues, existing customers, and prospects. This article provides tips to ensure that you are using LinkedIn to its full potential. Create both a personal and company LinkedIn profile. Use your company page to share company news, and your personal page to leverage personal relationships as well as share company news. Your company page is also a great place to ask for recommendations and feedback from your customers, as well as introductions to potential clients. Make your company page more interesting by posting frequently and including behind-the-scenes content such as images from events and fundraisers. For more information about improving your LinkedIn company account, read the entire article here.

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Upcoming BRAC Events

BRAC Monthly Lunch—
Imagine Your Parks: Enhancing the Quality of Life in the Baton Rouge Area

Featuring Carolyn McKnight, Superintendent, The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC)

Join Carolyn McKnight, BREC Superintendent, for a presentation which will mark the success of BREC’s ten-year master plan in transforming the park system. She will explain how the suggestions of Baton Rouge residents and stakeholders dramatically shaped the before and after impacts of the Baton Rouge Area parks and recreation facilities and programs. BREC will embark on another ten-year master plan in the months ahead, so come learn how you can create an impact and imagine the Baton Rouge Area parks in the next ten years.

The BRAC Monthly Lunch is a great way for investors and the business community to stay informed about the work of the organization, meet fellow investors, and learn about relevant topics. The lunches are held on the first Tuesday of each month (unless noted).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre at the Manship Theatre, Shaw Center, Baton Rouge (new location)
11:30am networking, 12:00pm–1:00pm program
$20 for BRAC investors, $30 for non-investors (includes lunch provided by Chef Don Bergeron Enterprises)
Contact Nancy Little at 225-381-7135 or nancy@brac.org
Register online here »


Pemier Sponsors

          

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BRAC Issue Council Meetings

Small Business Council

Thursday, January 2, 2014
@ BRAC, Baton Rouge
9:00am
More information »

Transportation Issue Council

Thursday, January 16, 2014
@ BRAC, Baton Rouge
3:00pm
More information »

Crime Issue Council

Thursday, December 19, 2013
@ BRAC, Baton Rouge
3:00pm
More information »

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Upcoming Regional Events

End of the Year Financial Checkup Workshop

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Recommended for small business owners to help evaluate their business

@ Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Southern University, Baton Rouge
10:00am–12:00pm
Free admission
More information »

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Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre Presents The Nutcracker – A Tale from the Bayou

Saturday, December 21, 2013—Sunday, December 22, 2013
One of the most highly-anticipated local events of each Christmas holiday season
@ Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge
2:00pm and 6:00pm performances
Price varies based on seating area
More information »

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Starting and Financing a Small Business

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Topics including writing a business plan, sources of funds for start-up and expansion, small business resources, and required licenses
@ Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Southern University, Baton Rouge
10:00am–12:00pm
Free admission
More information »

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LSU Executive Development Program

Begins Monday, January 13, 2014
Ten-day program to transform managers into strong and effective leaders—the kind that can ensure growth and the future of a company

@ LSU Business Education Complex, Room 1420, Baton Rouge
8:00am–5:00pm
$6,395 standard fee
More information »

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Competing in a Global Economy

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
LABI's 2014 Annual Meeting Presented by Cajun Industries, LLC
@ Crowne Plaza Hotel, Baton Rouge
9:00am–1:30pm
$165 general admission-early bird (sales end January 5, 2014)
More information »

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To see a more extensive list of Baton Rouge area events, visit the Creative Capital of the South® website here.