Each spring we return to Baton Rouge to defend or extend these credits that act as a little bit of risk abatement and that have made remarkable differences in cities from Monroe and Shreveport to New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Gina Marie, Stephen and Josie Masson look and act like a typical family. They joke and laugh, play with their headstrong, lovable bull terrier, and spend a lot of time working on their new retail space in downtown Shreveport. That is where the “normal” part of their story ends.
Recently, the city of Shreveport, Downtown Development Authority and tenants of the Red River District threw a party to welcome people back. It was time, thought tenant Christi Johnson Ranger, to remind people of how clean, pretty and safe the district is and to tell the story of the small and local businesses that now call the space home.
Sam Fashho has been in the clothing and fashion industry – the rag trade – for most of his life. Clothes have given him a life, helped him raise his family, enabled him to own multiple businesses. Prior to the oil collapse of the 1980s that turned everything around, he owned five clothing stores on Texas Street.
For three-plus hours on Wednesday, April 4, a portion of downtown Shreveport will be filled with street performers and artists, food trucks and specials. Buildings will throw open their doors, businesses will be open late, rehabbed historic buildings will be open for tours, architecture will be discussed and sketched, history will take center stage.
The new Shreveport Aquarium, a place for marine life, education and inspiration has brought lift to the old Barnwell Center. It has become a popular event venue, and the aquarium restaurant, SALT, arguably has the best views in town.
HGTV fanatics will remember a show called “If Walls Could Talk” that focused on fun facts buried beneath the sheetrock of homes across the country. It was always interesting to see what weird things homeowners had unearthed and even more entertaining to hear the homeowners’ reactions to these bits of history.
On Sept. 14, 2016, the boards of two downtown history museums – the Spring Street Historical Museum, whose exhibits tell the history of Shreveport, and the Shreveport Water Works Museum, the city’s first water plant, opened in 1887 – were invited to a meeting with Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler.
A big part of my job is working with businesses and business-hopefuls, many of them small, a significant number, start up. The people behind them run the gamut of professional mid-lifers sporting suit and tie to casual millennials in skinny jeans and tees.