CW Economic Development Educational Series: How Major Economic Development Occurs In St. Tammany Parish

Covington Weekly began after pitching an idea to the Covington Business Association at the request of our friend who is no longer with us, David Barfield (rest in peace). Not long after starting the newsletter we became board members of the CBA, and began learning the ropes around the local business community, with our main focus on the downtown area. After a couple of years, we were aware of the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce, but what is beyond that?

Above the Chamber of Commerce is the Northshore Business Council. The NBC is an invitation-only organization of more than 50 presidents, CEO’s and market managers along the I-12 corridor, inclusive of the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Washington. The group promotes policies that enhance the quality of business and civic life through activities of advocacy and opposition. Larry Rase (Governor’s Advisory Council on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Commission) is the current Executive Director of the NBC, replacing former Executive Director Pat Brister, our current Parish President. The Northshore Business Council works with the St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation on development projects. The NBC is your link to Louisiana Economic Development tax exemptions, tax credits and other loan programs. According to NBC, the results of formal research show that the region has been determined to be incredibly well suited for companies of the following industries: International Trade, Energy, Material Supplies, Logistics & Distribution and Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing. Find out more information at

Above the NBC is the Bureau of Governmental Research. The BGR is a private, non-profit independent research organization. Founded in 1932, it informs public policy making and the effective use of public resources in the Greater New Orleans area. Two board members of the Bureau of Governmental Research active in St. Tammany include David A. Kerstein (President, Helis Oil & Gas Company, LLC) and Shelby P. LaSalle, Jr. , LLC Professional Project Services (also Vice Chairman of STEDF). BGR is a member of the Governmental Research Association, a network of independent organizations studying government and public policy. “Good government requires constant vigilance on the part of the governed.”

Next week in the CW Economic Development Educational Series, we will introduce and provide resource information about GNO, Inc. and the Committee of 100!