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Aug 16, 2013
Governor Jindal Highlights Opening of Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center

LAKE CHARLES – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal attended a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center (SEED Center) in Lake Charles. The SEED Center will work with other organizations in the area to grow new businesses that will provide employment opportunities for Louisianians in the Southwest Region. 

Governor Jindal said, “When we took office, we immediately got to work on helping Louisiana become the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family. The talent and the resources were here—but the environment wasn’t. To create that environment, we got rid of burdensome business taxes, overhauled our ethics laws, revamped workforce development and implemented key education reforms so that we can continue training and educating the workforce of tomorrow.

“We also made a commitment to helping foster growth wherever we could. In 2005, Hurricane Rita damaged many businesses in Southwest Louisiana, creating a critical need for economic revitalization and recovery in this area. This SEED Center was designed to meet those needs, and now it’s ready to do just that. We’ve invested $7 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars for the SEED Center, which will no doubt help grow more businesses and create more jobs for the people of Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish and the entire Southwest Region.”

The 50,000 square foot SEED building will accommodate approximately 10 business incubator sites, as well as the McNeese State University Small Business Development Center, the Chamber Southwest Alliance, the Workforce Investment Board and the H.C. Crew Center for Economic Development Information Services. The building will also feature training rooms, conference rooms and classrooms to further cultivate business growth and economic development projects.

The total cost of the new SEED Center is $13 million. The state allocated $7 million in Disaster Recovery Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for the new SEED Center’s infrastructure needs such as sewer and water drainage, streets and parking areas. 

To complete the project, the CDBG funds were combined with $4 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce/Economic Development Association, $1 million from the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, $500,000 from the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and $500,000 from the City of Lake Charles.

The Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unity has committed approximately $16 million in disaster recovery funding to Calcasieu Parish for infrastructure recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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