BRAC Releases 2016 Results and 2017 Strategic Plan

Baton Rouge, La. (January 24, 2017) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today published its 2017 strategic plan following a presentation to the Baton Rouge Press Club yesterday. The full plan may be accessed at brac.org/strategicplan.

“Despite a trying year, the Baton Rouge Area continued its unprecedented streak of job growth in 2016, extending to 72 months of year-over-year expansion,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “Today, we are releasing our 2017 strategic plan that pushes forward our five-year initiative for a stronger, more competitive Baton Rouge Area. In 2017, we will push aggressively for transportation solutions from the state during its fiscal legislative session, while continuing to seek economic development gains and job growth across the nine parishes.”

BRAC will focus on five flagship tactics in 2017, identified as having the most potential to further the goals of its five-year strategic plan.

  • Secure passage of transportation funding to support regional megaprojects
  • Secure funding for an external image campaign
  • Increase push to secure more new jobs from existing regional businesses
  • Secure funding for the EBR Redevelopment Authority (RDA)
  • Push for the creation of a flood recovery initiative for small business

BRAC launched its third five-year strategic plan, the Think Bigger campaign, in January of last year. Its first full year of implementation saw nine business development project wins resulting in 924 jobs with $46.1 million in payroll and $362.6 million in capital expenditures.

Additional notable outcomes from 2016 include:

  • Coordinated launch of the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund with LABI, which has now raised $800,000 in grants for small businesses impacted by the August flooding.
  • Visited over 200 existing businesses in the region to assist with business retention and expansion.
  • Building of BRAC’s project pipeline through lead generation and marketing of the region to site consultants.
  • Development of an asset marketing strategy for business development efforts.
  • CRISIS Coalition continued to push regional traffic mitigation solutions, and secured funding for two priority projects: the widening of I-10 between Highland Road in East Baton Rouge and LA 73 in Ascension Parish, and the relocation of the Washington Street exit.
  • Launch of the BRAC Micro-Enterprise Credential, developed in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education to prepare high school students to become small business owners and employees. Over the course of 2016, 100 teachers were certified to teach the credential.
  • Launch of BRAC’s Virtual Schoolhouse, an online platform to pair businesses with classrooms based on teacher-provided lesson plans and industry-offered expertise. In 2016, 647 students utilized the platform.
  • National coverage of BRAC data analysis on the August flooding.
  • Development of BRAC’s Quality of Place initiative, aimed at improving the physical appearance of the Capital Region.
  • Publication of election platform for EBR city-parish government.
  • Hosted mayoral forum for candidates running for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish.
  • Support of new school choices being launched in the Baton Rouge Area, including IDEA Schools and Ardendale’s career high school.
  • Facilitation of 147 talent attraction and retention engagements, including executive candidate tours and group regional tours.
  • Publication of four major policy reports: the regional education report card, innovation and entrepreneurship, regional workforce demands, and economic outlook. All four reports can be viewed online at brac.org/reports.
  • Redesign and launch of BRAC’s website, brac.org.

The full 2017 strategic plan may be downloaded here.

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 brac.org.