Economic Team Meeting May 24, 2017

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Economic Team Meeting 1 May 24, 2017 Home Depot

The following are notes taken during the Team meeting. They are unofficial ideas and comments that were brought up.  Individual comments do not reflect views of Denham Strong or The City of Denham Springs.  Comments are used to define issues and visioning. All comments are welcome.

In attendance: John Cavalier, Cavalier House Books; Danny Paline; 5-star Printing; JT Davidson, Smoothie King; David Dodd, EDA contractor; Dawayne Gates, Home Depot; Jeanette Clark, City of Denham Springs; Jack Slota, Deanne Bingham and Beth Otto; FEMA-CPCb

To add to the Economic Issues:

The City (along with businesses and volunteers) need to have an Emergency Operations Plan in place. Businesses also need a Continuity of Operations Plan.

Need for an emergency broadcast system.

The City has a restrictive sign ordinance. This should be reviewed to see if it is accomplishing what it is intending to accomplish. It may be helpful to have a temporary waiver on sign restrictions so the businesses can advertise when they are back open. As a preparedness issue – we should have a sign waiver in place for future recovery efforts.

School staff reductions could have long-term economic impacts.

The car culture shifts money out of town.

Rapidly growing communities can easily loose a sense of place. It is hard to have a vital economy without a strong sense of place.

It’s hard to park downtown.

Need to increase participation and involvement to help businesses support each other.

The amount of residents we have – people consider this a place to sleep not buy. We need to figure out how to steer people back to here.

  • Campaigns to educate citizens on the services that we enjoy (shop local campaigns).


Intact a 10% set aside for small business (more info from David Dodd)

Celebrate a business – to help get the work out about businesses opening. Note – The Chamber of Commerce is involved in that, but we need to increase communication and get more people out.

Shop Central First – made a list of businesses they were missing to start recruiting.

Promote antiques district and Juban Crossing.

Foster entrepreneurial spirit – how do you help people learn how to open a business. People could be scared and don’t know where to start. Small business development centers. There is funding now that wasn’t there before (David). Nonprofit FTE have wonderful programs.

Needs for the Community Meeting:

  • Data on which businesses (and what types of businesses) are back, not back, and back but not fully recovered.
  • Quick questionnaire to ask people at the community meeting (Danny, would you like to get this started based on ideas that you already have)

Questions to ask the Community (display boards)

  • Would you like to see a focus on bringing in new businesses or on helping the businesses that are here to grow.
  • What kinds of activities for children can we add to the city? What about activities for young adults?
  • What businesses are missing?
  • Show that there is need, demand and support.
  • What do you leave the town for?

Visioning Images/Prompts

  • Mixed use development (example Perkins Rowe)
  • Pedestrian friendly development. One obstacle is crossing the street. Change the perception that this is a place where you drive everywhere.
  • Increased connectedness.
  • Antique district has the most potential. Maybe mixed use potential. What does antiques district need?
  • Increased residential density to support businesses.

Data analysis:

  • Sales tax receipts compared to a year ago.
  • Information from the Louisiana Economic Development survey. This will give us aggregate data on businesses affected.
  • If sales are down is it because there are less people here to support businesses, or because people have less disposable income, or both?
  • Survey to understand the issues that businesses are having
  • How can the city incentivize revitalization?


Home Depot is a community partner. We are in the community and will show up when volunteer support is needed. Just let us know what we can do. We can make it a whole district effort – which means a whole lot of volunteer power.

What Home Depot can offer:

  • Value pricing. We have pro accounts set up, businesses can track purchases online. Gas perks for commercial accounts.
  • Have participated on long term recovery committee for the parish. We are trying to fill that gap and get people back in houses. We are here to help people get their supplies at the most affordable rate that we can. Try to support people that are struggling.

What about a conceptual theme that runs across – What do you want in each booth?

Next meetings:

Wednesday June 7th 1:00 pm Home Depot

Wednesday June 14th 1:00 pm Home Depot


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