Baton Rouge Area Chamber Backs Bill to Revamp Louisiana Economic Development Agency

Baton Rouge, LA (April 9, 2024) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced its support for Senate Bill 494 (Mizell), a transformative legislative proposal aimed at restructuring the Louisiana Economic Development (LED) agency. This bill represents a pivotal step in enhancing the state’s economic development strategy and bolstering Louisiana’s competitive edge in attracting and retaining businesses. 

SB 494 outlines a comprehensive plan to reorganize LED, ensuring it operates more efficiently and responsively in today’s fast-evolving economic landscape. By streamlining operations and focusing on strategic growth sectors, SB 494 is projected to enhance the agency’s capacity to support business expansion and job creation across the state. 

“BRAC is wholeheartedly behind SB 494 because we believe in a stronger, more agile economic development agency that can effectively respond to businesses’ needs and foster a thriving economic environment in Louisiana,” said Ann Trappey, BRAC interim president and CEO. “This bill is a game-changer for our state, promising to elevate Louisiana’s position as a prime destination for investment and innovation.” 

“We urge all stakeholders and policymakers to support SB 494, as it represents a significant step toward enhancing Louisiana’s economic landscape and securing a prosperous future for our state,” added David Mullens, chairman of the BRAC Board of Directors. “Together, we can reshape our economic development efforts to create a brighter, more prosperous Louisiana.” 

The legislation would allow a new advisory board, made up of private sector leaders from across the state, to develop a comprehensive state economic development plan that would reflect the unique assets, needs, and goals of the state’s varied regions. In addition, LED would have streamlined procurement and technology processes, allowing the organization to operate at the speed of business – and be more responsive to businesses looking to grow jobs and investment in the state. 

BRAC believes that SB 494 will facilitate a more coordinated and efficient approach to economic development initiatives, encouraging collaboration among state, regional, and local entities. This collaborative framework is crucial for fostering an ecosystem that supports business success and economic vitality. 

Supporting the reorganization of LED and best practices for economic development was a key priority listed in BRAC’s 2024 legislative agenda. BRAC’s full rationale on its legislative priorities is available at brac.org/legislative-priorities

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber   

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is an aggressively ambitious regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org.  

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