St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation Releases Annual Review

CHALMETTE, La. – From the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation:

SBDEF has released its 2021 Annual Review. Highlighted parish-wide wins include being recognized as a Development Ready Community by Louisiana Economic Development, breaking ground on Domino Sugar’s $4 million expansion, aiding Chalmette Refining in securing the parish’s first-ever approved ITEP for a $550 million renewable diesel project, the announcement of Port NOLA’s $1.5 billion terminal, continuing programs such as Grow St. Bernard, Shop Small Week, & Startup St. Bernard, and launching the first-ever Small Business Matters Summit. Not only will these programs and projects create jobs and opportunity, but they put the parish on the map as a leader in the energy transition, international trade and logistics, and consumer packaged goods manufacturing. Internal wins include SBEDF securing nearly $5 million worth of grant funding for new programs, partners, and infrastructure, founding the first-ever Rural Workforce Collaborative in St. Bernard, as well as the organization’s first-ever Real Estate Committee.

St. Bernard Parish becoming recognized as a Development Ready Community by Louisiana Economic Development was a huge triumph for the parish and SBEDF, as it facilitated much community input and helped jumpstart the creation of a strategic plan for residents, by residents. In the wake of Hurricane Ida, SBEDF hosted the SBA’s Disaster Loan Outreach Center from November through January, serving over 350 residents and closing 153 disaster loans. “We aimed to create and strengthen partnerships in order to help develop our workforce and expand community resources,” said Board Chairman Zeljko Franks. “It was clear to our team that we needed to work to create not only opportunities for growth, but ways to help sustain our economic ecosystem here in St. Bernard. We are in a great spot to harness industry demand and propel our community forward.” 

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“2021 provided opportunities for SBEDF to step into roles that will strategically position St. Bernard Parish and its residents for growth and development,” said Meaghan McCormack, Executive Director of SBEDF. McCormack, who took the post in April of 2020, is optimistic about the near future: “With the substantial size and number of projects committed to St. Bernard, we are ready to tailor our resources and workforce to maximize benefits for our community. This parish is booming with incoming businesses and opportunities, and we are excited to help pave the way.”

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