The Covid pandemic ravaged business and industry across the world. Small businesses took a particularly hard hit as doors shuttered, life savings were drained, and lifelong hopes and ambitions – the very idea of achieving the American Dream for so many – was destroyed due to lockdown and fear.
But Minden endured; in fact, in a lot of ways, Minden thrived.
Minden Mayor Terry Gardner had one goal as the world grappled with the Covid pandemic – help keep the community in business. And by and large, that’s what happened.
Due to a coordinated effort by Economic Development Director Phillip M. Smart, the Chamber of Commerce, SWID, local business leaders, and the good people of Minden, Mayor Gardner said the City saw positive growth every month over the past year and a half.
Sales tax numbers have gone up every month, and there is perhaps no better indicator of how a local economy is performing than its sales tax numbers.
“What our sales tax numbers tell us is Minden is supporting Minden,” Gardner told The Journal.
There have been 21 new business openings during the pandemic and countless additional renovations and improvements made by existing places of commerce. That last bit is important because the mayor knew the most important aspect of keeping dreams alive in Minden was to help local business owners during unprecedented times.
That’s why the city launched an impressive out-reach program that ensured businesses knew all the ways to keep doors open. Gardner and his team educated local businesses about grants, loans, and other revenue streams to help make ends-meet during the uncertain time.
In addition, the city gave free lessons on marketing, utilizing social media, and connecting with other businesses for b2b sales. The city hosted Small Business Roundtables and sponsored ribbon cuttings for fledgling businesses that did not have the funds to join the local chamber of commerce.
“They deserved to have the light shined on them,” Mayor Gardner said. “They were taking a risk. Opening a small business is always a risk, but to do so during the pandemic was courageous. We wanted to help them celebrate and do whatever we could to help them succeed.”
The city hosted classes on QuickBooks and Google utilization as well as other free and easy ways to help with costs.
And through all the efforts to aid the existing businesses, Minden saw either the arrival or improvement of the following businesses: (Note – There has been so much movement in the Minden business community, that this list may be incomplete. Let The Journal know if any business has been omitted.)
Pro Beauty Supply
Gulf Coast Truck & Trailer Repair
Honeybee Clothing Company
Shake Those Pounds #2
Minden’s Finest Storage II
Southern Magnolia Charm
2 Grand Accessories and Moore
Liberty Tax Services
Minden Family Pharmacy
Car Giant of Minden
Edward’s Auto Repair
Resilient Living Community Service
Minden Community Care Center
Sibley Road Chevron
Eastern Energy Services
Yocom Law Firm
Five Star / Abrham Store
Roots Beauty Room
Barksdale Credit Union
T&J’s Country Store
Minden Family Pharmacy
P.S. I Love You
Smooth Kutz Lawn Service
Lawn & Order
Five Star Wingz N’ More
Sweet Cajun Reds
J & K Trading Cards
The Little Green Shop
Little Scholars Academy
Minden Coin & Collectables
Gibsland Bank & Trust
There is perhaps no better example of a community meeting the challenges of the pandemic and successfully coming through than Minden.
“Minden supported Minden through all of this,” the mayor told us. “And now we will continue our progress in the years to come.”
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