Leigh King

Leigh King

Editor's Note: This article is brought to you by Cox Business.

This year has dealt unprecedented challenges to local businesses across Louisiana. Time and again, entrepreneurs went from leading companies that were thriving to simply trying to keep the doors open, all in the blink of an eye.

But in true Louisiana fashion, these business owners did not give up. Instead, they refocused, adjusted services and remained flexible to meet their customers’ ever-changing needs. Restaurants changed their menus and added more takeout or delivery options. A New Orleans communications firm embraced remote work and stayed committed to its city. In Baker, a family supplied decorations when their event business came to a halt. A Baton Rouge massage therapist enacted strict cleanliness protocols for guests and staff. And in Lafayette, a health care agency treated both COVID-positive and COVID-negative patients in the comfort of their homes.

“Each of them have incredible stories about how they have had to pivot and follow safety precautions while still finding ways to generate revenue and serve their customers. The innovation, the creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit each of them displayed during this pandemic is nothing short of inspirational,” said Leigh King, vice president of Cox Business Louisiana.

Over the past three months, Cox Business has partnered with The Advocate, The Acadiana Advocate and The New Orleans Advocate | The Times-Picayune to highlight the challenges and successes of six Louisiana businesses, with a particular focus on minority-owned companies. Combined, the stories have been read more than 42,000 times.

“We are really proud of this initiative,” King said. “The additional highlights may have been a bridge during a period when some of these businesses needed access to more assistance and services.”

With COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, there is increasing optimism that 2021 will mark the beginning of a successful turnaround for all local businesses. No matter their needs, King said the Cox Business team will be ready to provide assistance.

“The message is to stay positive. I think we’ve got much brighter days ahead,” he said. “As we look to the new year, I think we will slowly be able to move back to some sort of normalcy and I think that will create a lot of growth opportunities for our small business customers.”

As the commercial division of Cox Communications, Cox Business provides voice, data and video services for more than 355,000 small and regional businesses across the country, including health care providers, K-12 and higher education, financial institutions and government organizations. For more information, visit www.coxbusiness.com. Cox Business also operates Cox Blue, a free research hub with information to help small businesses succeed. Visit www.coxblue.com to browse the hub and access resources.