Area economy will recover from Katrina, director says

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 19, 2005


Managing Editor

HAHNVILLE — St. Charles Parish’s director of economic development Corey Faucheux sees the Katrina-based business disruption as temporary, with a “new” New Orleans on the horizon, providing the foundation for a strong regional business community.

In St. Charles Parish itself, the economic base remains strong, as the petro-chemical industries and grain elevators, which provide the bulk of the tax base, are mostly up and running, with no significant long-term damage.

Employees are coming back, and the small businesses, which serve the industries and their employees, are likewise open and operating, for the most part, Faucheux said.

“The success we’ve had in the past was dependant on the strength of New Orleans,” Faucheux continued. As Orleans and Jefferson parishes rebuild, those St. Charles businesses founded on those customer bases will rebound.

Many businesses, especially logistics and transportation-based, took a strong hit, and a number of businesses are down, with the Louis Armstrong Airport down. However, as the airport is slowly restoring services, expected to be back up at full strength by Sept. 19, those businesses will also rebound.

“What does the future hold? Your guess is as good as mine,” Faucheux commented.

He noted that even tourism will bounce back, as the French Quarter remains mostly intact, as well as the downtown hotels. “It’s just a matter of getting back up, as soon as possible.”

He continued, “It’s still up in the air what the ‘new’ New Orleans will look like, but the next three to six months will be critical.”