Baton Rouge, La. (January 31, 2019) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today published its 2019 strategic plan. The full plan may be accessed at brac.org/strategicplan.

“2018 saw exciting traction among many of BRAC’s priorities, most notably those related to alleviating traffic congestion – the top concern among business leaders for the last three years,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “Change of that scale takes focus and sustained effort on the part of the region’s business community, and a dedicated and talented team of economic development professionals. While there are always new challenges to address, I am confident that the positive momentum the region is experiencing will continue.”

BRAC will focus on four overarching priorities in 2019. These priorities have been identified as having the most potential to further the goals of BRAC’s five-year, regional strategic plan.

  • Push forward on a new Mississippi River Bridge and the region’s transportation agenda,
  • Secure reforms to blight laws that negatively affect Quality of Place,
  • Engage in North Baton Rouge redevelopment and business development practices, and
  • Launch an initiative targeted at attracting and growing companies in sectors complementary to the region’s competitive advantages.

As in 2018, BRAC will also continue to defend the area’s business climate by pressing for predictability and stability in the Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP), and publicly support the importance of growing manufacturers in the region.

BRAC launched its third five-year strategic plan, the Think Bigger campaign, in January of 2016.

Notable outcomes from 2018 include:

  • Cut the ribbon on the newly-renovated David E. Roberts Center for Economic Development,
  • Secured nearly $1.5 billion in Capital Region transportation infrastructure improvements committed between state and local entities,
  • Assisted in the creation of the Capital Area Road and Bridge District, allowing five parishes in the region the opportunity to fund and build a new Mississippi River bridge crossing,
  • Closed 15 projects accounting for over 1,000 jobs, $1.6 billion in capital investment and $55 million in payroll, with eight of those projects representing expansions with a retained job count of 1,524,
  • Developed a local approval process for the Industrial Tax Exemption Program that has yielded 100% approvals in West Feliciana, East Feliciana, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Ascension Parishes,
  • Engaged more than 2,000 students in career exploration and mentorship via BRAC’s Virtual Schoolhouse,
  • Graduated 45 teachers from BRAC’s STEM Externship Program, introducing education decision-makers to the career opportunities available to students in the region,
  • Engaged 82 regional employers in workshops to create or expand meaningful internship programs for area students,
  • Conducted 63 tours for executives considering relocating to the Baton Rouge Area for employment,
  • Launched the Diversity Star Award to recognize champions of diversity and inclusion in the Baton Rouge business community,
  • Partnered with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to raise more than $500,000 to combat crime in East Baton Rouge Parish, and
  • Secured 53 positive national media placements featuring Baton Rouge and its assets, representing 1.2 billion impressions and $4.6 million in ad equivalency.

The full 2019 strategic plan may be downloaded at brac.org/strategicplan. BRAC will release its 2018 Annual Report in March.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at www.brac.org.

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