Economic DevelopmentAs the most populated municipality in Tangipahoa Parish, Hammond is at the forefront of economic growth in the area.
For more than 55 years, the Hammond Chamber of Commerce has been an active part of the community, providing an information clearinghouse for business and industry. The Chamber has also assumed a leadership role, working closely with city, parish and state officials to successfully promote the area and attract new businesses. Other entities that offer significant support and resources for the area’s economic growth are the Hammond Industrial Development Board, Hammond Area Economic and Industrial Development District, Hammond Downtown Development District, Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation, Southeastern Louisiana University’s Southeast Louisiana Business Center and Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Hammond Industrial Development Board and Tangipahoa Economic Development FoundationHammond Industrial Development Board and Tangipahoa Economic Development Foundation
Both the HIDB and the TEDF play vital roles in the economic growth of the area, working with current and incoming businesses to develop Tangipahoa without
sacrificing the area’s distinctive culture. They provide many helpful services, including information about tax incentives, demographics and statistics, as well as assistance in business relocation, financing and low-interest loans. HIDB also has a database on buildings and works closely with realty companies, developers and financial institutions to package proposals to meet any opportunity, regardless of its complexity or magnitude. As Hammond continues to grow, the HIDB realizes the need for premium distribution and light manufacturing space. For this reason, Hammond now has the “Hammond Regional Commerce Center” ready for tenants. This new business park will complement the existing 130-acre Industrial Park. The Hammond Regional
Commerce Center is ideally located on Interstate 12 at the Airport Road exit (Exit 42), this 186-acre, $3.3 million park is designed for two phases. The first phase will consist of 17 acres, with the remaining acreage being developed in Phase 2.
Southeast Louisiana Business CenterIn 2003, Southeastern Louisiana University opened its Southeast Louisiana Business Center, a regionally based economic and business center designed to facilitate economic development in Southeast Louisiana and to serve as a model for other university and business partnerships around the state. Says Southeastern President Randy Moffett, “The development of the business center is in direct keeping with the university’s mission to lead the educational, economic and cultural development of the region. One of Southeastern’s most important initiatives is to serve as a catalyst for economic development. This center provides an ideal opportunity for the university to strengthen its partnerships with area economic development agencies.” The center links the university with all businesses and potential businesses, offering access to the university’s varied resources. Confidential one-on-one consulting services are provided at no cost to individuals interested in starting or expanding a business in the five Florida Parishes of Washington, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Helena. The center assists with a wide range of issues, from business plans to location studies and financial analysis. Housed within the business center facility at 1514 Martens Drive are Southeastern’s Small Business Development Center, area economic development organizations, a business library, a training center hosting low-cost seminars and workshops, and conference rooms for use by residents and area businesses. SBDC’s broad mission is to help small businesses grow and prosper. It is organized into two departments: business counseling and training. In addition to free counseling services, the SBDC offers SBA handouts, business plan outlines, financial forecasting worksheets, demographic information, business start-up guides, and marketing/advertising resources.
Hollywood in HammondThe Hammond area and Tangipahoa Parish remain attractive locations for Hollywood production companies. Producers of television series (In the Heat of the Night), made-for-TV movies (Elvis, which aired in early 2005), small-budget films (Nicolas Cage’s Sonny and the upcoming Pizza Wars) and blockbuster movies (The Toy and Academy Award-winning Ray) have all found Hammond and its environs a perfect setting for all or part of their stories. Motion picture production has a significant impact on the area’s economy. Production companies often reserve entire blocks of hotel rooms for several days or weeks. In addition, every business on a block that is closed because a street is reserved for shooting receives a fee.
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