LSUA Economic Dashboard: Cenla small businesses impacted by COVID-19, hurricanes

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 3:32 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2020 at 4:29 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - COVID-19 and both hurricanes have impacted small businesses in Central Louisiana.

According to the October version of the economic dashboard released by LSUA, consumer spending is down thanks to Hurricane Laura’s impact in Rapides Parish.

Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce President, Deborah Randolph tells KALB revenues for small businesses have decreased by a little over 30 percent, and there are a little over 30 percent fewer small businesses open now than at the beginning of 2020.

However, Randolph says applications to open new businesses has risen significantly across the state, with new restaurants like Whataburger and Rotolos coming to Central Louisiana.

But with the pandemic and the added hardship of both hurricanes, Randolph says many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and need our help.

“The locals are the ones who have the greatest impact, quite frankly. With every dollar you spend with what gets invested back in our community, those are the businesses that support the arts and culture and the ball teams for youth and all kinds of other services, our charitable organizations for example that we desperately count on in our community.”

Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce President, Deborah Randolph

According to Randolph, businesses that have a strong digital presence traditionally sell 25 percent more volume.

One bright spot from this month’s report: Alexandria has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 6.1 percent.

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