AEDC launches incentives analysis

Allison B. Hudson

 The Ascension Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) announced today the commissioning of a full scale analysis of best practices regarding local economic development discretionary incentives.  AEDC has entered into a contract with Taimerica Management Company of Mandeville, Louisiana to produce this analysis.

This effort is a key element of AEDC’s strategic initiatives for calendar year 2011.  The project is an outgrowth of discussions between AEDC and elected and appointed officials in Ascension Parish about how to better position the Parish and its municipalities to compete for economic development deals.

AEDC President & CEO Mike Eades explained the project’s drivers.  “The competition for attractive economic development deals is intense.  At present, we have limited tools in our arsenal to cement the attraction of new enterprises

and-or the expansion/retention of existing employers. Frankly, we’re getting

out-gunned by other communities in Louisiana and surrounding states”, Eades said. 

“This analysis will provide us with empirical evidence as to the kinds of discretionary incentives being offered by competing communities and the

inner-workings of these programs.  With this information in hand, we will work with our parish and municipal officials to determine if and under what circumstances we would offer discretionary incentives to economic development prospects”, Eades explained.

Eades cautioned that AEDC will run each potential deal through a comprehensive

cost-benefit analysis prior to recommending that discretionary incentives be offered to any prospect,  “Good economic development deals must be win-win situations for the company and the community.  You can’t make a bad economic development deal into a good deal by simply throwing incentives at it”, Eades said.

The analysis will be completed in April 2011.  AEDC will then work with parish and municipal officials to determine which incentives are appropriate and to structure the decision-making process for individual deals.  “We expect that some of our recommendations may require the adoption of enabling ordinances by parish

and-or municipal governments”, Eades explained.