Louisiana business is booming, and businesses themselves are primed for global expansion. As of 2019, Louisiana has ranked #3 on the list of America’s top leading export states with a dollar export value of $63.7 billion. The Louisiana Economic Development (LED) 2020 Annual Report calculated 58 project wins, $12.7 billion in capital investment, and over 3,100 new direct jobs created.
Companies in Louisiana beneﬁt from the state’s competitive cost environment, including low taxes and low energy cost.
The state’s low-tax environment offers a considerable amount of cost savings. According to a 50-state analysis by the Tax Foundation and KPMG, The State Tax Costs of Doing Business, Louisiana ranks as the lowest tax burden for new facilities, relocations, and facility expansions for both capital-intensive and labor-intensive manufacturing operations in the U.S.
This location can also signiﬁcantly reduce company costs because of the state’s low industrial electricity rates — 2018 rates averaged approximately 23 percent below the national average. Louisiana’s industrial natural gas rates are also very competitive, with the state’s 2018 rates averaging the lowest in the South and approximately 19 percent below the national average.
Louisiana also knows that companies want to work swiftly and efﬁciently when starting or growing their businesses. To facilitate this goal, there is an expedited environmental permit-processing program which enables the state to issue permits more quickly and efﬁciently than just about any other state in the country.
Louisiana is well situated for both inbound and outbound logistics with the following:
- 6 deep water ports
- 6 interstate highways
- 7 primary airports
- 6 class 1 railroads
Louisiana is one of only two states in the country where all six of North America’s class one railroads converge and the only state where 6 class 1 railroads converge with a deepwater seaport.
There are a vast selection of sites and buildings that are development ready. Browse and ﬁlter your next ideal location by parish, classiﬁcation, space size, surrounding transportation, and more on the Sites and Buildings Database.
Exploring Louisiana’s Industries
Traditional and emerging industries are rising in Louisiana. A distinctly productive and skilled workforce, low taxes, unparalleled infrastructure and logistics, an excellent business climate and numerous incentive programs provide a competitive advantage in various industries
For more information on Louisiana’s key sectors, click here.
Agribusiness and Manufacturing
Louisiana provides an array of resources for developing and expanding companies in the agribusiness and food processing industries making up 11.7 billion annually going into the state’s economy. Some of our top commodities include: cotton, timber, rice, soybeans, sugar cane, horses and one-third of the U.S. seafood supply.
Forestland covers 48 percent of the state area or 13.8 million acres. This renewable resource provides the raw material for Louisiana’s second largest manufacturing industry which is forest products. Spread over 45 parishes are 900 ﬁrms employing over 25,000 people.
Louisiana produces more than 850 million pounds of seafood each year and is the second largest seafood producer. It is also the largest commercial ﬁshery in the contiguous U.S and largest producer of blue crabs, shrimp, crawﬁsh, oysters, tuna, catﬁsh, and drum. According to the Economic Beneﬁts on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Boating Resources in the State of Louisiana, annual retail, import and export sales amount to over $2 billion producing an average of 26,915 jobs for commercial seafood alone.
Manufacturing investors can beneﬁt from Louisiana’s growing available workforce. Louisiana’s strategic investments in community and technical schools are ensuring the production of highly skilled workers statewide to meet the future needs of the industry. When you combine that with Louisiana’s immense natural resources, transportation infrastructure, and closeness to the Gulf of Mexico, it creates a prosperous center for agricultural growth and business innovation.
Chemicals and Energy
It is not uncommon for globally recognized process industries to want to establish or expand their operations in Louisiana. Exceptional transportation infrastructure and proximity to abundant natural resources in combination with a large selection of identiﬁed and certiﬁed sites make doing business in Louisiana a desirable choice for chemical processing and fuel industry operations.
Louisiana’s chemical industry is well established having contributed to the allied victory in World War II. This was done by supplying aluminum ore, octane boosters, processed military fuels, and synthetic rubber. Today, there are an average of 100 chemical and reﬁning facilities and more than 500 contractors according to Entergy Louisiana. With the network of manufacturers, natural gas, pipeline infrastructure, Mississippi River, and international ports, Louisiana is known to be a global competitor and an attractive location for new investments in the chemical sector.
Louisiana has more than 24,000 miles of natural gas pipeline, carrying natural gas to all parts of the country. According to the Energy Information Administration, the state is No. 2 in crude oil and No. 3 natural gas production in the nation (when including offshore production). This state is also home to the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) which is the entry point for the majority of foreign oil that enters the U.S. More than 90 percent of waterborne U.S. oil rigs are located in waters off Louisiana’s coast, and In 2019, Louisiana obtained almost 4% of its total electricity net generation from renewable sources.
Biomass resources are abundant in Louisiana, and electricity generated from wood and wood waste constituted about three-ﬁfths of the state’s renewable generation.
According to the Louisiana Economic Development 2020 report, the state will also play an important role in the future of renewable energy. With wind being the biggest source of renewable energy in the U.S., it is forecasted that by 2035, the U.S. offshore wind capacity could bring in $70 billion in new capital investments in the areas of manufacturing and port infrastructure. Additionally, this would mean 45,000 new direct jobs. With Louisiana’s oil and gas service providers already having started in early development of U.S. Offshore Wind Energy (OSW), and with our infrastructure advantages, LED predicts this could make Louisiana the hub for OSW manufacturing.
Louisiana’s rich culture and history sets it apart from every other state making it the perfect backdrop for creative industries. It is the only state that offers various incentives serving solely for motion pictures, digital interactive and software development projects, sound recording and live performance productions.
Louisiana is one of the top destinations in the world for motion picture production and has produced over 400 motion pictures in just a 10 year period. Readily available live performance facilities and theaters set the stage to easily spring into action.
Being the birthplace of jazz, also makes Louisiana a sharp destination for musicians and producers. State of the art recording studios, ﬁnancial beneﬁts such as sound recording investor tax credits, and the abundance of raw talent should have anyone take note.
Louisiana is also the perfect hub for the digital media and software development sectors. Creating and expanding companies such as in business and entertainment software, consoles, embedded systems, mobile and web-based applications are facilitated through a workforce of more than 100,000 technology professionals, research centers, and the nation’s strongest incentive.
Tourism and Hospitality
Tourism is an integral part of the Louisiana economy. Louisiana is known for culture, food, beverages,festivals, and music. It is not surprising that in 2019, 53.2 million visitors were welcomed. The economic impact of tourism beneﬁts businesses extraordinarily.
Visitors and tourism businesses spent $15.3 billion in Louisiana in 2019 according to a study by Tourism Economics. This supported a total of $22.9 billion in business sales with direct and induced impacts considered.
In Global Trade Magazine’s America’s Top 50 Power Ports, the Port of South Louisiana was rated the largest tonnage port district in the western hemisphere (275,512,500). It is the premier gateway for U.S export and import trafﬁc and stretches 54 miles along the Mississippi River.
With its proximity to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana is a model location for water management companies. Multiple companies with capabilities related to Gulf Coast restoration and water resource management are located in the state, and billions of dollars are spent each year on research, projects in marsh creation, protection systems, sediment diversion and restoration.