Ouachita Parish among top in the state for strong small business presence

Even with the economic hardship that has gripped the nation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there is some good news locally.

Ouachita Parish has a strong climate for success for small business. A respected financial technology website says so, and local business owners agree.

SmartAssett.com conducted a study on the best places in the country for small business owners. According to the study, Ouachita Parish ranked among the top 10 parishes in Louisiana for small business presence. 

The nationwide study measured IRS data on the number of small businesses operating in each parish, how much income they generate and what they pay in taxes. According to the data from the website, Ouachita Parish contributes 26.39% of the state’s small business returns and 10.49% of the state’s small business income, and $9,806 of incomes taxes from small businesses in the Ouachita Parish go to the state.

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Kristopher Kelly, communications director for the West Monroe-West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce, said Ouachita Parish is a strong place for small businesses because of the support from local and state government and the Chamber. 

“Ouachita Parish proudly hosts a community that fosters opportunity for small business development,” Kelly said. 

Dr. Matt Turpin has been a practicing in Ouachita Parish for over 16 years.

Dr. Matt Turpin, a dentist in West Monroe, credited the citizens, city management and the business owners for the strong business presence in the parish. 

“I think a lot of that comes from the leadership we have in our town with our mayor, city hall and also our police jury,” Turpin said. “The main thing that makes business go here in Ouachita Parish is the people. It’s the owners and the employees that work hard and then the people’s desire in our area to support local business.”