Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana, is a metropolitan area of about 350,000 people. It is ideally situated in northwest Louisiana about 15 minutes from the Texas border on the west and 30 minutes from the Arkansas border on the north.
The Red River connects the two cities and, since Shreveport’s early inception, the riverfront has served as the hub of the city’s commercial life. What began life as a log-jammed river port has now become home to a splendid convention center, six riverboat casinos, year-round festivals and a riverfront shopping/dining/entertainment venue.
Historically, the area has thrived because of its active river port, rail network, oil and gas industry, agricultural crops such as cotton and timber, and an abundance of recreational lakes. Manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, tourism, agriculture, educational institutions, medical facilities, service industries, and oil and gas exploration and production have been vitally important to the Shreveport-Bossier economy. Today, the area has moved away from its dependence on oil and gas and is prepared to meet the challenges of the future with a progressive business attitude and diversification into other areas of production and distribution of goods and services.
Designated as a Customs Port of Entry and Foreign Trade Zone, the Shreveport-Bossier area offers advantages for importing, exporting, and transacting international business. Numerous institutions of higher education, hospitals, nursing homes, and a growing health care industry are represented in the area. Christus-Schumpert Health System and Willis-Knighton have in recent years undergone multimillion dollar expansion projects. LSU Medical Center is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the South. The Virginia K. Shehee Biomedical Research Institute is a 10-story, 160,000 square foot, $37 million regional research facility located adjacent to the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport. Opened in 1994, the Institute's 56 state of the art wet labs are occupied by more than 200 scientists, technologists, and support personnel from LSU School of Medicine working to find cures for such diseases as stroke, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer's. This regional medical center/bio-med research center has a huge impact on the area's economy.
The area is home to one of the largest air bases in the United States, Barksdale Air Force Base. Barksdale is headquarters for the Eighth Air Force and the 2nd Wing, an employer of nearly 9,000 military, reserve, and civilian personnel, with one of the largest Air Force retirement communities in the United States. The base has an economic impact on the area of almost $500 million, according to the GSCC. Barksdale Air Force Base has been selected as the provisional home for the new Global Strike Command Center. As this mission becomes more defined, it is anticipated that more personnel will be relocating to the Bossier City-Shreveport area. North Louisiana has taken the next big step toward entering the world's newest economic frontier with the Phase One groundbreaking of a new Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) and National Cyber Research Park (NCRP) in Bossier City to bring together academia, defense contractors, research, and technology to assist the Department of Defense on this newGlobal Strike Command project.
The people are charming and the dining is unparalleled mixing the wide-open Texas spirit with the spicy Louisiana Cajun attitude. The area has a lively arts, craft brewery and music scene. The diverse museums tell the story of famous musicians, galaxies, cultures and explorers. The festivals showcase Louisiana’s traditions of good music, great food and all-night entertainment.