A new approach
In Fall 2018, Mayor Broome engaged Keen Independent Research to analyze over 11,000 City-Parish purchases to determine whether there is a level playing field for minority- and women-owned firms and other small businesses in the local marketplace. The East Baton Rouge economy was settling with what worked for the last 20 years. Mayor Broome focused on what would set East Baton Rouge on path to success for the next 20 years.
In 2019, Baton Rouge was ranked in the top 15% of municipal economies nationwide, that’s 59th out of 381 metropolitan areas. The study affirms that the City-Parish primarily buys locally. Over 80% of contract dollars go to companies within the Baton Rouge metropolitan area. More than 90% of businesses available for City-Parish contracts are small businesses. Of available businesses, 41% are owned by people of color and/or women, and 9% are owned by veterans.
Under Mayor Broome’s leadership, our economic outlook is strong with more than 5,000 new jobs projected within the next 18 months. This growth will be fueled by a combination of expansion projects and new investors entering our market in the areas of Oil/Gas, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Retail, and Technology.
Mayor Broome is equally committed to nurturing and growing small businesses with a special interest in those owned by women, minorities, and veterans.
SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH
eBay Retail Revival: In 2019, e-commerce company eBay selected Baton Rouge for its Retail Revival program. The company will partner with a number of small businesses for one year to coach them in how to best utilize the online marketplace. eBay hopes to expand these businesses so their products and services can reach customers around the world.
New Era Medial Office Complex: Mayor Broome worked with New Era Holdings to end the long term vacancy of the New Era Medical Office Complex on Howell Boulevard. The facility will house OCEANS Behavioral Health Center, Capital Area Human Services, Ochsner Health, and the Louisiana Center for Eyes, which will provide high-quality geriatric care services, primary care, and ophthalmology services, in addition to creating over 100 new jobs and increasing commerce in North Baton Rouge.
EQUITY IN BUSINESS
Baton Rouge Procurement Opportunity Partnership (BRPOP): A program designed to establish a pipeline with some of the parish’s leading private businesses and its major universities to procure goods and services from local companies, especially those that have historically been disadvantaged.
Disparity Study: In Fall 2018, Mayor Broome engaged KeenIndependent Research to determine whether there is a level playing field for minority- and women-owned firms and other small businesses in the local marketplace. The disparity study will provide data about marketplace conditions, disparities in City-Parish contracting, and insights from interviews, focus groups, surveys, and public meetings with business owners and the public.
IBM Client Innovation Center: In 2019, IBM’s Client Innovation Center met its 800 job hiring goal as part of a 17-year, $147 million incentive program.
Exxon Expansion: ExxonMobil chose North Baton Rouge for its half-billion dollar expansion of its’ polypropylene production unit. The project is expected to start in 2021 and create upwards of 600 jobs during construction and 65 permanent jobs upon completion.
Inviting New Businesses: Mayor Broome has contacted 40+ leading tech and pharmaceutical companies inviting them to invest in East Baton Rouge, inviting them to partner with our universities to invest in our workforce and create a stronger pool of talent for the future.