Lafayette, Louisiana


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Lafayette Business Signs

The city of Lafayette is located along the Vermilion River in the southwest portion of the modern day US state of Louisiana.  Before Louisiana was a state, however, this area was inhabited by the Atakapa (or Ishak) peoples.  (They were called Atakapa or “people eaters” by their Choctaw neighbors, but they called themselves “Ishak” or “the people.”)  Other local Native American tribes in the area included the Opelousas.  Prior to 1765, Europeans did not settle permanently in the area.  However, around this time Acadian (Cajun) exiles began arriving in the area from Canada, where they had been brutally evicted by the British.  Jean Mouton, a French-speaking Acadian, founded the village of Vermilionville in 1821.  It was named after the river, which itself is named after a certain shade of red.  The city was subsequently renamed in 1884 to Lafayette, after General Lafayette, a French hero in the American Revolutionary War.

Today, according to a 2014 estimate by the US Census Bureau, Lafayette, Louisiana has a total population of 126,066 people.  This makes it the fourth most populous city in the state.  Lafayette is considered the principal city in the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area.  According to that same 2014 estimate, the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area has a total population of 490,488 people.

Due to its history as a haven for Acadian exiles, Lafayette, Louisiana is now considered a center of “Acadiana, the area of Cajun and Creole culture.”  In fact, the area is home to Acadian Village, which is a private cultural park.  Acadian Village consists of a recreation of a typical 1800s Cajun village.  In fact, according to Acadian Village history, “seven of the eleven buildings [now located within the park] are authentic homes of the 19th century donated by the families whose ancestors once occupied them…each was moved piece by piece and carefully restored.”

Elsewhere in Lafayette, the Cajun culture is celebrated at Vermilionville, which is one of the largest Cajun and Creole living history museums in the world, containing an additional seven restored historical buildings built between 1765 and 1890.

But Lafayette, Louisiana isn’t all about history.  In fact, several businesses are located in and around the Lafayette area.  These businesses include Frank’s Casing Crew, CIS Hammers, Center for Business and Information Technologies (CBIT), Rader Solutions, National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute, Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise (LITE), Presidio Networked Solutions, and CGI.

Lafayette, Louisiana is home to several sports franchises.  While not technically a franchise, the most prominent sporting presence in the city is the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, which are the athletic teams of The University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  The Ragin’ Cajuns are a member of the Sun Belt Conference in NCAA Division I FBS, with 16 varsity teams.  The football Cajuns play at Cajun Field, while their basketball teams play in the Cajundome.  As for professional sports teams, there is Southern Professional Hockey League’s Louisiana IceGators, who play their home games in the Cajundome as well.  Southern Indoor Football League’s Lafayette Wildcatters also play in the Cajundome.

Do you by any chance own a small business in the Lafayette, Louisiana area?  Are you considering starting up one?  These resources could help you in the achievement of such an endeavor:

Apply for a Business License in Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana Business Center

One Acadiana – Former Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

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