Ascension Retention Expansion (A.R.E.) is an economic development program that helps:
  • Enhance communication regarding areas of interest and concern to identify and address the needs and barriers that existing businesses may encounter to ensure their survival, success and growth
  • Encourages and assists in the retention and expansion of existing enterprises
  • Ensures a positive and stable business climate  where existing enterprises can survive and flourish
Some key strategies include:
  • Relationship Building – We can bring together local, regional or state partners that may benefit your business or immediate needs
  • Ombudsmanship – AEDC is well-networked with local, regional and state elected and appointed officials and with service providers.
  • Business Information System and Database – Bundles advanced business retention strategies with a sophisticated interview process to help identify expansion opportunities, companies at risk, as well as company and community problems.
  • Data & Statistics – assistance can be provided to help with grant applications, site selection questions, expansions, and more.
  • Assistance with Expansions – Our team can help you build a business case for growth, from project financing to incentives to workforce training.
  • Professional Development – We periodically partner with other agencies in providing workshops that can help you start your own business or improve your existing business and managerial tactics.
  • Economic Development Specialists – AEDC and our statewide partners are at our fingertips to assist with your business problems, questions, and solutions.
When would we contact a business?
  • We contact businesses (via telephone, e-mail, newsletter, etc.) with information about new/revised incentives, proposed local or state statutes that may impact their firm, new information on labor force programs, “lunch & learn”, etc.
  • We also contact businesses to conduct a full A.R.E. visit along with our partners, Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) and Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED).
Where will the visit take place?
  • The visit will take place preferably at the company’s location. Formal A.R.E. visits usually run about 45 minutes. We typically visit with companies every 18-24 months.
Why do we conduct these A.R.E. visits?
  • To gain a better understanding of key drivers of your business, especially those that are locally influenced, so that we can be a problem solver for your company. And because we know from experience that the vast majority of new jobs in Ascension Parish are created by existing firms as opposed to companies recruited from outside the area.