Small Business and Economic Development

Jefferson Parish, LA
United States

Conducting a mixed-methods study to assess impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers and employers in Jefferson Parish Council District 3.

Predominantly Black communities in Jefferson Parish have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 in Louisiana, in addition to an unemployment rate around 20 percent. Officials in these communities need better data about employment and workforce conditions to guide economic response and recovery. Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), which serves as a partner and convener to improve population-level health outcomes, will conduct a mixed-methods study to assess COVID-related impacts on small businesses and workers in Jefferson Parish Council District 3.  

The project aims to provide timely data on the issues, concerns, and needs of small businesses and workers. Most employment and workforce data in Jefferson Parish are at the county and regional levels, which masks the unique conditions in Council District 3. Throughout the project, Louisiana Public Health Institute will engage current partners and additional stakeholders at the local, regional, and state levels to identify issues impacting economic development and identify current practices, policies, and recovery opportunities. To identify information gaps, Louisiana Public Health Institute will also scan relevant secondary data on employment and workforce conditions. These activities will inform the research team’s primary data collection, and the team will also conduct a telephone survey of workers in Jeferson Parish District 3 and interview business owners to better understand worksite safety measures and local needs for recovery resources. 

The primary beneficiary of the data will be the Jefferson Parish Council District 3 office, which serves 75,000 constituents. Other partners include the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission, American Job Center/Jefferson Workforce Connection, and Delgado Community College. These stakeholders lack the capacity to collect and interpret the types of data needed to effectively respond to immediate and long-term needs caused by the pandemic. Providing data will help them make informed decisions for small businesses and workers. 

Social media handles:@LPHIorg (Twitter), @LPHIorg (Facebook), @TheLPHI (Instagram), @Louisiana Public Health Institute (LinkedIn)