The economy of Morehouse Parish was built upon the strengths it provides to the community including its people, businesses, work force, low cost of living, and rich agricultural and timber resources.
A skilled workforce is available throughout the region as a result of continued presence of paper mills, ANGUS Chemical and Georgia Pacific in Crossett. Drax Biomass completed construction of Morehouse BioEnergy in 2015 and is sending wood pellets to the port in Baton Rouge for shipment to the United Kingdom as part of their initiative to reduce dependence on coal in power production.
It takes money to make money. But it doesn't take as much in Morehouse Parish. Morehouse Parish businesses have benefited from the comparatively low local and state tax rates. More often than not, the taxes impacting business are eliminated or reduced by local and state incentive programs. Also, the new Louisiana FastStart Training Program is ranked in the nation’s top workforce training programs for company-specific recruiting and training.
The loss of the International Paper mill in 2009 has been offset by the attraction of a number of new industries, which has been through attractive transportation infrastructure, raw materials and a realistic approach to economic development. Parish and local officials have been able to attract small and medium sized businesses that are building a solid foundation for future economic growth.
Like many other parishes located outside of a major metropolitan area, Morehouse Parish also has utilized the resources of Louisiana’s Northeast Region (Caldwell, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Union), an 8-parish area that provides a 137,000-person labor force.
Though manufacturing in America has declined in recent years, the industry is relatively strong in the parish and region, especially in fabrication and galvanizing. Small and medium sized operations have found market niches for themselves along with the workers trained through the technical colleges or on-site.
Morehouse Parish and area companies benefit greatly from the highway/interstate infrastructure and rail lines running throughout the community. Numerous trucking companies including a high-tech tank wash facility, Bastrop Tank Wash, serve the needs of business and through traffic on their way to markets throughout southeast U.S.
Morehouse Parish has become a small regional retail hub for surrounding parishes and residents north from Arkansas. National retailers including Wal-Mart, Payless, Dollar Tree, and restaurant chains such as McDonalds have a presence. Local retailers such as Simmon’s Sporting goods, the region’s premier sporting goods destination, have followed with furnishings, clothing, antiques, pharmacy and gifts, as well as restaurants of many ethnicities.
Several health care facilities allow residents of Morehouse Parish to find general and some specialty services at home. The Morehouse General Hospital has a well-equipped and staffed emergency, internal medicine, elderly care, and rehabilitation transitions to the parish rehabilitation hospital. A beautiful healthcare manor houses the elderly in Bastrop.