CHAMBER HOSTS UPDATE FOR BUSINESS COMMUNITY

Sales Tax Collections Up, NSU Enrollment Up, Natchitoches Moving Forward

NBEP Crowd

The Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce held the fifth annual Natchitoches Business Environment Presentation Wednesday, Aug. 17 at the Student Union Ballroom on the Northwestern State University campus. About 75 business leaders gathered to hear guest presenters NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Parish President Rick Nowlin and Mayor Lee Posey.

The event provides important local data to members of the business community including tax collections, unemployment numbers and real estate trends. The presentations also included updates on major projects and upcoming plans at NSU and around the city and parish.

“We hope businesses use this information to help them determine future projects and assist with planning in our community,” said Chamber President Tony Davis.

Davis explained various trends with sales tax collections, the local real estate market, local employment and other impacting factors. “Overall, I think we have great momentum around Natchitoches, with personal wealth increasing, tax collections moving in a positive direction and our elected and community leaders working together proactively to address issues and plan for the future,” he said.

Natchitoches Community Alliance Vice President of Economic Development Mike Wolff unveiled the new website, NCA-La.com, and gave an update on the progress made by the Alliance over the past year. Wolff noted, “The need for a coordinated approach to economic development locally has been shown, and the support of the Chamber, the City, the Parish and the University show there is value to our work.”

Nowlin spoke on the importance of the parish in working with community forces to bring about positive change and noted the strong need to continue addressing new solutions to infrastructure needs.

Posey gave an update on the many projects that the city has underway including the riverfront improvement project scheduled for 2017, a new sports complex, park renovations and work to make Natchitoches a “Bike-Friendly Community.”

Henderson spoke on the significance of the relationship between the University and the community. He also spoke about the promising enrollment numbers and positive effects of the recent marketing efforts by the university.