February economic dashboard released; small businesses still struggling during pandemic

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 2:56 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 5:21 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Small businesses are struggling across the country, including right here in Cenla, according to the February issue of the LSUA Cenla Economic Dashboard.

LSUA College of Business Dean Dr. Randall Dupont said small business revenue in Rapides is down 27 percent compared to a year ago. That’s due to fewer small businesses being open.

When looking at data from early February, the number of small businesses open in Rapides decreased by 29.7 percent compared to January 2020, and a little over 31 percent statewide.

However, when it comes to business development, there has been an 80 percent plus increase in business applications across the state.

A total of 43 new businesses were established in January in Rapides.

That number is 14 percent below a year ago, but 54 percent higher than in January of 2018.

Unfortunately, not all businesses survive. Looking specifically at data for businesses that have closed, Dupont said most shut their doors before they make it to the five-year mark.

“What we find is that of about 300 businesses that I looked at, about one third of those businesses do not even make it beyond the second year, two years or less. Another 40 percent of those are less than three years. And if we go to that five year mark, 52 percent of all businesses basically are less than five years in operation.”

LSUA College of Business Dean, Dr. Randall Dupont

LSUA and the City of Alexandria have created a ‘Launchpad’ program that starts Monday.

Interested candidates will learn how to develop an effective business plan, and create a sustainable business model. So far, 52 people have signed up for the program. It’s not too late to get enrolled. For questions or to sign up, email

For more information, click here.

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