It was 37 years ago this month, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor (theme from Rocky) was at the top of the charts and Jerry Stovall was coaching the LSU Tigers. It was also when we published the first monthly edition of Business Report featuring Louisiana entrepreneurs.
Much has changed in the world and our city—and how we live and work since then, writes Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister in his latest column.
All of us at Business Report were looking to make an impact on our hometown business community and put “business news on the front page,” believing that what happens on Main Street is more important to your business, job and family than what happens on Wall Street.
As Baton Rouge has grown and evolved, we have too in order to serve our business community. Over the years we’ve embraced change, and you’ve seen it in our content, design, frequency and digital offerings from our website to the Daily Report e-newsletter, introduced more than 20 years ago—and now twice daily.
I hope you agree that local media is important because Facebook, Google, Instagram and Twitter don’t produce local news about Baton Rouge. They simply post the news produced by local companies like ours, The Advocate, WBRZ, WAFB, WVLA, Fox-44 and numerous radio stations. (Social media sites add cat videos, selfies, photos of your favorite dishes and some “fake news” from Russia.) These behemoth companies don’t employ anyone here or pay state or local taxes, and they don’t support our local community and give anything back to nonprofits. We all do.
In addition to the news we provide, we strive to connect people in our community—face to face—and honor achievement though the Business Awards & Hall of Fame, Influential Women in Business, Top 100 Private Company CEOs, Forty under 40 and Best of 225 awards.
Greater Baton Rouge has been very supportive in our 37-year journey and we are grateful to you, our readers and advertisers. In the age of acquisitions, we are one of the few locally-owned media companies remaining.
As we begin our 38th year in the Capital Region, we want to say “thanks.” I learned long ago that success is a journey, not a destination, McCollister writes. We all know change is constant, and Business Report is already planning for 2020 and new changes and innovations we will share soon.
McCollister also addresses Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana’s budget and tax system. He points out the final budget under the Bobby Jindal administration for 2015-16 was $24.6 billion. The first budget under Gov. John Bel Edwards was $26.6 billion
Since Edwards took office, with the help of higher taxes, Medicaid expansion and stable oil prices, the Louisiana budget for 2019-20 is now $35 billion. That’s a 42.2% increase in four years and more than $10 billion higher than Jindal’s last budget, prompting McCollister to ask, “are you satisfied with how your money is being spent?”
Read the full column, where McCollister expands on how Business Report has evolved over 37 years.
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