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Johnson: Connections, Collaboration, Community

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The Bossier Chamber of Commerce seeks to create partnerships within our region, state and nation to provide the best outcomes for the businesses and citizens of northwest Louisiana. Because, we believe, collaboration is key.

We stand behind our tagline “Connecting Business to Business” as we find ways for businesses to succeed inside the office as well as with other businesses. Because the community cannot rely on one entity to fulfill all business opportunities, we all must work together to make things happen in northwest Louisiana.

The retail boom happening in north and south Bossier in the past two years is a perfect example of private-public partnerships that work.

On the Chamber’s recent trip to Washington, D.C., many of the leaders who joined us were based in Bossier, however, the topics were definitely regional in scope. Top priorities ranged from a Barksdale Air Force Base communications facility upgrade and access road to the Northwest Louisiana Mobility 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan, as flooding is a conversation for all of Louisiana, as we witnessed with the unparalleled weather patterns of 2016.

Lisa Johnson, Bossier Chamber of Commerce President/CEO
Lisa Johnson, Bossier Chamber of Commerce President/CEO

In a similar vein, our recent Regional Legislative Forum was a collaboration of city and parish governments, chambers, and, businesses of all sizes coming together to say #NWLAmatters as we welcomed Gov. John Bel Edwards to Bossier City. As we continue to put forth a unified front from our corner of the state, we make sure priorities are just that, priorities, which can come from one voice and be heard.

This action of working together can and will produce great benefits for our region as a whole. We are seeing the benefits of our partnerships every day, as Bossier and Shreveport together have been the recipient of many accolades as of late:

  • Forbes named Shreveport-Bossier among the best opportunity cities.
  • Bossier was named No. 7 in best places to find a new job by Money Magazine.
  • Bossier City and Shreveport were recently named No.12 out of 383 metro areas for best places in the United States for women entrepreneurs to launch their businesses.

This region has strong women who have started long-standing businesses in our area, without which our region would be much different. A strong business community has contributed to this ranking in addition to an entrepreneurial collaboration team — a recently formed local group comprised of entrepreneurial stakeholders working together to cover all of the bases in building a stronger entrepreneurial climate in Shreveport and Bossier.

Continuing to collaborate and work as a community will be crucial as we grow and change.

You see, it is going to take all of us to make this a better place for business, which in turn will make it a place that people want to call home.

Because we really are better together.

Lisa Johnson is President and CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce

This column was originally published in the October edition of BIZ. Magazine.