Article: Louisiana losing residents

Feb 8, 2023 | Business, Impact

Note: This story originally aired on KNOE on Feb. 7, 2023. 
Click here to watch the video. 
By Charles Burkett

A report from The Louisiana Tech Center for Economic Research shows Louisiana lost 50,000 workers since the start of the pandemic. Here in Northern Louisiana, wages are below the state average.

But there are ways business owners and communities can help reduce the impact of this downturn.

Amanda Lyon, the former owner of The Hub in Monroe, which shut down just over a year ago, said involvement is key.

“Be involved because everything here, everything anywhere, starts with a relationship, but in order for you to thrive in this town and know how this town works, you’ve got to be involved,” said Lyon.

She said being involved in organizations and other events, puts you and your business in front of others.

“You may be at a dinner where someone’s talking about this very thing, and we can’t find good workers, so we can’t do this,” said Lyon.

Another owner, Tracy Carter of Jac’s Craft Smokehouse, is opening a new business in downtown West Monroe.

He said as people leave the area, businesses need to adjust.

“It’s completely different. It’s how we go and reach those people that are still here,” said Carter.

Common pieces of advice they had was to take the time to know people and support them as well.

“Making sure that you’re supporting the community activities,” said Carter. “Building a relationship. To continue to sustain what we do have here.”

When that happens, Carter said, it will translate to the community growing.

“It takes a community to support local businesses, you see more local businesses going out of business than you do corporate businesses,” said Carter.

Lyon currently runs a business that is working on hiring campaigns for others.

She said her experience helps her understand her clients and the current climate of the economy.

“And I thought no one knows better on a hiring campaign than myself to see the struggles that we went through and then now offer this to other companies that are struggling,” said Lyon.

If local businesses hope to survive, they need the community to support them.

The report from Louisiana Tech’s Center for Economic Research is available to read.