Behind the Spanish moss, plantation facades and bayou fishing weekends, Acadiana’s nine parishes hold solid economic potential for serious entrepreneurs. Few locations in the country offer so much — access to two interstates, four rail systems, seven ports, two commercial airports and the world beyond — for developing and established businesses alike. Cost of living and taxes are low, yet Internet speeds rival the best in the world.
Acadiana’s business atmosphere is welcoming and encouraging, providing a number of venues to explore when starting or expanding your business. More than a dozen business incentives are available to all Louisiana ventures:
• Quality Jobs Rebate
• Restoration Tax Abatement
• Industrial Tax Exemption
• Research and Development Tax Credit
• Competitive Projects Payroll Incentive Program
• Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit
• Digital Media and Software Incentive
• Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit
• Live Performance Tax Credit
• LED FastStart Program
• Technology Commercialization Credit and Jobs Program
• Modernization Tax Credit
Acadiana offers additional incentives especially tailored to small business owners:
As a point of contact for the region, One Acadiana has invested in identifying developmental focus in five primary industry areas:
Within every sector reside both direct and supporting opportunities for new business. In fact, Acadiana has a wide, diverse industry base. Major employers include health care and life sciences, and Acadiana also supports two commercial airports and aviation companies like PHI, Inc. and Bell Helicopter. Manufacturing — from jewelry to heavy equipment — provides ample employment opportunity within the region with industry leaders like Stuller, who supplies over 1,000 jobs. Even the film industry and telecommunications companies have found success here. IT giant CGI, in partnership with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is bringing several hundred jobs to the area, adding to Acadiana’s growing innovation and technology hub. There’s no question that the region is filled with opportunities for small and large ventures to establish niche services and thrive.
Meanwhile, Acadiana is addressing its primary challenge, available industrial space, by establishing LED-certified sites. LED, or Louisiana Economic Development, is a state program responsible for expanding and strengthening the state’s business environment and economy. LED provides a comprehensive list of certified, development-ready industrial sites for production. The Acadiana area alone has four LED-certified sites, and the upshot of development is that the facilities are customizable for your business’ needs:
• At 536 acres, the Freeland Site in Crowley, Acadia Parish, is the largest and most recent addition.
• Evangeline Ward One in Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish, has 96.5 acres.
• Williams Memorial Airport Business Park is in Patterson, St. Mary Parish, with 64 acres.
• Deer Park in Abbeville, Vermilion Parish, has 23 acres ready for development.
Investing in Your Business
One Acadiana provides a regional platform focused on helping business owners in all nine parishes work together and succeed. Establishing a business structure, completing registrations, addressing tax and insurance, and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits can at first seem overwhelming. However, resources are available — and free:
• One Acadiana provides exclusive access to a number of small business workshops and resources as well as monthly networking events, informative status updates on the local economy and promotional opportunities. Members reap the benefits of a dense, professional network that provides free resources, brand exposure, and education to ensure the success of your new business.
• The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is one of 10 centers across Louisiana. It offers free, ongoing support and assistance and can help with modern business solutions, access to capital, advice and other needed resources, such as assisting with development of a business plan.
• SCORE is a national program that connects business owners with experienced volunteer mentors who share their expertise and guidance at no charge. Acadiana’s chapter is located in Lafayette.
• Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program resources address training and technical growth issues like skill sets, business planning and needs assessments.
• The state’s Economic Gardening Initiative has experienced teams that provide technical assistance and research tailored to strategy, challenges, opportunities, and marketing.
• Leadership Acadiana and the Leadership Institute of Acadiana provide hands-on experience and training to form leaders who can guide and improve our communities.
• The Opportunity Machine, better known as “theOM,” is an entrepreneurial acceleration and incubation center focused on rapid-growth startups utilizing automation, delegation and elimination strategies to achieve their goals. TheOM offers training and services in the areas of deal making, technical delivery, and administration.
• One Acadiana's business development team is focused on helping top economic driver companies from across the nine-parish region succeed through our Business Visitation Program. During a visit, our team will analyze and discuss the challenges and potential growth opportunities your business faces. These visits will allow us to offer relevant business development support that can help your business thrive. To schedule a business visit, contact Director of Business Development Rebecca Shirley at 337.408.3671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• One Acadiana’s talent development program is built to cater to companies seeking a customized recruitment and relocation service for candidates or newly-hired personnel to showcase and sell our community. Our team provides information unique to individual candidates and offers customized community tours with a local’s perspective, highlighting the region and demonstrating why there has never been a better time to call Acadiana home. For more information on community tours, contact Manager of Talent Development Lauren Thibodeaux at 337.408.3653 or email@example.com.
When you choose Acadiana as the place to do business and invest in our regional economic development organization, you gain access to a variety of resources, helping large and small businesses alike. You can experience all the assets of our nine parishes and speak with community leaders willing to share your vision. Choose One Acadiana, and discover everything our region has to offer your business.