Shreveport-Bossier ranks in top 10 for economic potential

Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau photo (www.shreveport-bossier.org)
Monday, August 19, 2013 - 8:58am

The Shreveport-Bossier Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto Parishes, earned the no. 9 spot on Business Facilities’ 9th Annual Rankings Report.

Business Facilities, a leading economic development journal, ranked Shreveport-Bossier in the top 10 nationally when comes to economic potential. The magazine looked at metropolitan areas with dynamic new growth sectors which are thriving alongside their traditional industry strengths.

“I'm delighted to see these latest rankings, and we all should be inspired by the positive results we're seeing from the collective and strategic efforts to attract and retain outstanding companies like Ronpak, Benteler Steel, and of course, our very own Moonbot Studios,” Mayor Cedric Glover said.

Business Facilities points to the area’s booming digital media hub as one of the hottest new growth sectors in the nation. Oscars-winning Moonbot Studios, an animation and visual effects studio, helped put its hometown of Shreveport on the global digital media map. At the 84th Academy Awards™, Moonbot won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for its digital interactive storybook for children, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr.
Morris Lessmore.

“This is great news and indicative of what we have to offer the business world. From cyber to the film industry, Bossier City-Shreveport is a diverse area in terms of economic development,’’ Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker said. ``Our two cities may be separated by a river but together we share the commitment to strengthen our local economy by fostering an environment conducive to business growth and job creation.”

Moonbot was founded in 2009 by William Joyce, a Shreveport native who has worked for Disney/Pixar and FX Studios, among other award-winning digital design shops. The company credits LED’s FastStart training program and digital media incentives for helping get their story off of the shelves and onto the screen.

“Our area’s growth and success can be attributed to the continued cooperation among the various entities to make things happen. An environment of collaboration and teamworkcreates a pro-business atmosphere which companies appreciate and understand. This is a great place to do business and achieve financial sustainability, which is the bottom line for anyone wishing to start or expand their business,” said Jimmy Cochran, Bossier Parish Police Jury President.

North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP), a public-private regional economic development organization, works with prospective and existing companies to build and grow the economic base of North Louisiana.

"Other major growth areas for North Louisiana include the manufacturing and energy sectors, along with our traditional strongholds such as timber. These sectors will remain very strong for years to come," said Scott Martinez, NLEP President.

Ronpak, a custom paper bag manufacturer, opened the first new American paper bag mill in nearly a decade in Caddo Parish. Benteler Steel/Tube announced a new steel tube mill at the Port of Caddo-Bossier. The $900 million investment represents the second largest American investment during 2012. Elio Motors plans to build a next generation, threewheeled car at the shuttered GM plant. Idaho Timber, RoyOMartin and Weyerhaeuser all announced growth plans to capitalize on the expanding timber industry as the real estate market recovers.

“The Shreveport-Bossier MSA has done an excellent job utilizing community partnerships to help grow and maintain local businesses, such as Honeywell Corporation and to recruit new businesses in the area, such as Benteler Steel/Tube and Ronpak. Our goal is to innovatively strengthen and move the regional economy into the 21st Century,” said Lindora Baker, President of the Caddo Commission.  

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