Business leaders form economic recovery task force

Local business leaders, sidelined by the Covid-19 pandemic, have formed a Task Force to focus on an economic recovery plan based on infrastructure.  The group’s goal is to develop a multi-billion dollar infrastructure package that focuses on broadband build-out and shovel-ready projects such as the 1-49 connector.

The 40-member Task Force is co-chaired by Desi Sprawls and Larry English. Among the group’s members are top business professionals locally and across the country in the fields of technology, construction, transportation and finance. The goal is to develop an infrastructure plan that can be funded through a future infrastructure stimulus package from Congress and public-private partnerships.

“Right now our government leaders are dealing with a once in 100-year health crisis,” said Sprawls, Director of North Louisiana Operations with Forte & Tablada. “We owe a tremendous debt to the essential workers who are putting their lives at risk to save our city. As business leaders, we need to bring that same commitment to an economic recovery plan.”

Marcel Miner, a young marketing executive and Task Force member, says Shreveport’s future depends on building out a broadband infrastructure that offers affordable universal connectivity.

Business Leader Linda Biernacki says Shreveport requires infrastructure now more than ever.  

“COVID-19 has impacted the whole country, yet Shreveport is likely to feel it longer than necessary since we are already behind on the growth of the infrastructure that will aid in our economic stability,” said Biernacki, president of Fire Tech Systems. “ Revamping construction, career growth for future leaders, new business attractions can be done by investing in infrastructure.”  

The Task Force will spend the next several months strategizing a plan and will present a report to the city by summer.