Angel Albring | BIZ. Magazine
Economist Dr Loren Scott has released a comprehensive economic impact study of Building Our Region’s Future (BRF) and its associated entities. The study analyzes the 2018 and 2019 economic impacts of BRF, as well as its associated entities, in the Shreveport-Bossier metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which includes Caddo, Bossier, DeSoto, and Webster parishes.
BRF is an economic development organization establishing North Louisiana as a preferred destination for high-growth initiatives. Its mission is to diversify the region’s economy through initiatives that support community, regional and national needs and health and medicine, resources for entrepreneurs and the development of science and technology-based workforce.
According to Dr Scott, BRF activities created an average of 5,453 direct and indirect jobs, per year, for 2018 and 2019 in the Shreveport-Bossier MSA.
“For every 10 new jobs created in a dozen different industries by BRF and its associated entities, another 11 jobs are created elsewhere, in more than 20 different industries in the MSA economy,” Dr. Scott said. He added that the average wage of these jobs is approximately 18% higher than the average wage in the Shreveport-Bossier MSA.
“These numbers demonstrate the economic stability and diversity that BRF activities add to the Shreveport-Bossier MSA,” he said.
In 2018, activities recorded for BRF and its associates included the BRF owned and operated University Health Shreveport hospital. BRF acquired UHS in 2013 in order to retain the hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe. BRF sold UHS in 2018 to Ochsner LSU Health System of North Louisiana, which has continued the growth of the hospitals that started under BRF ownership and management.
Because of UHS reporting under BRF in 2018, the following impacts were recorded for the Shreveport Bossier MSA:
- $799 million in new sales for businesses in the MSA
- $460 million in new household earnings for citizens in the MSA
- 9,617 direct and indirect jobs for MSA citizens
- $20 million in additional taxes and fees for local government in the MSA
After the sale of UHS in 2018, the 2019 report reflected:
- $91 million in new sales for businesses in the MSA
- $67 million in new household earnings for citizens in the region
- 1,288 direct and indirect jobs for MSA citizens
- $3 million in additional taxes and fees for local governments in the area
“In 2019, the household earnings generated by BRF activities are larger than the $55.3 million in earnings of all amusements, gambling and recreation employees in Caddo Parish,” said Dr Scott.
Dr John George, BRF President and CEO, said that in the future, BRF divisions and initiatives will focus on “advancing three important economic development areas, which include starting new companies in the MSA, recruiting new companies to the MSA and retaining the companies that we have in the MSA.”
To do that, BRF announced Shreveport Next, a new initiative to recruit new companies to the Shreveport-Bossier MSA.
Launched in September 2020 as BRF’s newest initiative, Shreveport Next recruits small to mid-sized businesses to relocate to or build facilities in the Shreveport-Bossier area. What sets Shreveport Next apart is BRF’s ability to provide other funding opportunities to relocating companies that may be otherwise unavailable.
Targeted prospects include companies with an annual revenue of $5- $500 million and 20-500 employees in the oil and gas, electrical equipment, aerospace and aviation, information technology, warehouse distribution, and life sciences industries.
Dr George said that even though COVID-19 continues to impact economic activities in the region, state and country, BRF and its associated entities will help to diversify the economy by bringing in a wide range of industries, while also creating high paying jobs in 2020-2021 and beyond.
“We look forward to collaborating with our area and state economic development entities in this most important effort,” Dr George said.