A digital technology firm, that could bring as many as 300 jobs to the area, will be the topic of a Tuesday meeting of the Caddo Parish Commission.
Britton Lee, whose endeavors include digital media conversions, is looking to locate in downtown Shreveport in the old Selber’s Building, which is now owned by the commission. In addition to providing available office space, the structure is located next to the AT&T building, assuring handy access to high-speed internet.
If Lee does land in Shreveport, the Parish Commission partly can credit its recent investments of a half-million dollars a year into the LSUS digital media program led by director John Miralles. That program, particularly an intense 12-month certification program, could help provide the necessary work force for Lee. The jobs could offer starting salaries of $50,000 a year, said Commissioner John Escude.
Of course, no small factor in attracting film and media companies is the state’s tax incentive program for digital media investments. The state offers up to a 25 percent tax credit for digital media production expenditures and a 35 percent tax credit for Louisiana resident labor expenditures.
The Caddo Commission also can provide a variety of assistance, from finding office space to offering its own financial incentives. Though the movie industry has brought what one commissioner described as a “feel-good kick in the pants” to the area, there are concerns about the level of assistance being asked of taxpayers in the renovation of the Selber’s Building.
That portion of downtown is the scene of growing investments in arts-related activities. A little farther west, in nearby Ledbetter Heights, some digital post production already is done by Millennium Films, a studio that benefited from incentives and a long-term lease from the city of Shreveport.