Lafayette ranked 24th out of 200 metro areas in the best performing cities index compiled annually by the Milken Institute

Community supports locally-owned small businesses

Friday, January 25, 2013 - 4:24pm

Chasity Hooks owns three different small businesses in Lafayette ranging from a laser body sculpting business, a small CPA firm, and a newly opened bakery called Everything Else is Cake.  So when she heard of Lafayette's recent success she gave the credit to the community.

"People are so receptive to small business here.  It's a very homey community that we live in, and everybody is out to help everybody else.  Although starting a business is never easy, it makes it a little easier when people are a little more open-minded cause there's so many small business owners here so it's just a good community," says Chasity Hooks, local entreprenuer.

The president and CEO of Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Gregg Gothreaux, says that job growth along with a significant increase in wages demonstrates that Lafayette's economy is diverse and that wealth is being shared by a greater percentage of the population.  I asked Chasity what made her decide to open all three of her businesses in Lafayette.

"We're all from here, you know.  We're southern girls, we're not going anywhere so it just seemed like a unique opportunity to be here," says Hooks.

She says she did consider opening her bakery in the Broussard or Youngsville areas, but she gets more traffic in the city.  Chasity says that Lafayette is a great place to start a business, but there are three kep components that each business needs to stay afloat.

"The key parts are making sure that you have something that somebody wants, making sure that you position yourself in an area that's easy to get to, and make yourself accessible.  Let them know what you're doing, and continue to let them know what you're doing and how you can do it better than everybody else," says Hooks.

Lafayette's high marks for job growth reflect consistent recognition Lafayette has received over the past several years.

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