LEDA’s website — lafayette.org — is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, corporations, job seekers and more.

One of the comments we hear frequently from our clients is their positive impression of the LEDA website, www.lafayette.org. LEDA’s website has long served as a resource for all businesses within Lafayette Parish — a point of reference for questions, information and guidance in every phase of a business’ life.

The site targets three primary audiences: site selection and real estate professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs and Acadiana residents.

Site selection and real estate professionals have their own portals. Customized requests from these portals are directed promptly to our research staff to ensure timely delivery; commonly requested documents and information are easy to find. For the business professional, LEDA’s support services are outlined so that upon identifying your situation (starting, expanding, or relocating), you know what opportunities exist. Acadiana residents also have important information at their fingertips. Need to find out how to get utility service, looking for job openings, or completing a research paper, no problem! LEDA provides you with an assortment of data in just a few clicks.

At a recent conference, the general manager of Site Selection Magazine told attendees that 90 percent of the initial research completed when companies are looking for a new location is done online — often before a community is even aware they are being considered for a project. That’s one of the reasons why LEDA strives to always provide the most accurate and detailed information about Lafayette and the surrounding area on our website. Specifically for real estate professionals, we’ve gathered all of the basic information they will need to consider Lafayette for an upcoming project; and all of the information is also customizable based on specific requests.

Some of the key information available with just one click for real estate professionals include the most recent Economic Profile, an overview of the economy, businesses and demographics in Lafayette; available buildings and sites; financial programs; the most recent Lafayette Good News and updated demographics reports for the parish and the six-parish Lafayette-Acadiana CSA.

Like site selection consultants, LEDA works closely with our local commercial real estate professionals. Through lafayette.org, visitors are able to browse commercial properties for their expansion or new business venture. The Louisiana Site Selection database is populated with properties presented by commercial real estate agents. This system allows our staff to quickly respond to our clients’ requests and to assist with the marketing of submitted listings.

For the established business or the entrepreneur with an idea, lafayette.org offers our research staff another avenue to provide information to our clients. LEDA understands that without straightforward, uncomplicated access to available resources a company is at a disadvantage. As with real estate professionals, the local business person has access to the latest demographic reports (2012 estimates are now available), dozens of the most common economic indicators (retail sales, average home sales prices, apartment vacancy, unemployment rate and more), available sites and buildings, and general information about the community (access, infrastructure, quality of life, etc.).

We want the information you gather from our website to mitigate any impediments to your growth and to increase your understanding of the Lafayette and Acadiana region. We also provide an extensive list of agencies that provide complementary services to local businesses. Acadiana Economic Development, which serves the seven-parish region centered around Lafayette, hosts similar information on a regional level at www.teamacadiana.org.

Finally, lafayette.org provides a wealth of information for Acadiana residents. The most popular page on LEDA’s website is the Virtual Job Fair, lafayette.org/jobs. We began the job board following Hurricane Katrina and the page was so popular with businesses and job seekers that we have continued offering the service.

In 2011, we posted 355 job openings on the site. We also provide information on upcoming job fairs and employment recruitments events throughout the year for job seekers. To make research easier for students, our Information Services staff created the Online Resource Guide with direct links to the primary sources LEDA uses to collect our most frequently requested data and statistics. We also provide a calendar of community events; a Relocation Guide to familiarize potential new residents to the area and information about specific LEDA-led initiatives such as the Acadiana Alternative Energy Committee.

We’ve come a long way since the original LEDA website was launched in 1996 and more improvements are on the way. Our staff is working with developers now to launch the next version of lafayette.org later this spring. The improved site will feature all of the same information with easier navigation, quick access to LEDA’s social media updates and a new map engine.

Visit lafayette.org to see all of the valuable information you can use to move your business to the next level. Did you find exactly what you were looking for? Are you looking for something we don’t have? Let us know. We’re always looking for ways to improve the LEDA online experience for our customers.

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