Lafayette Parish recorded over $697 million in taxable sales in March.

According to a press release from the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, sales in March were the highest on record in Lafayette Parish for any month in history—even topping the colossal December 2014 holiday figures by $28 million.

A few obvious factors that more than likely drove consumer confidence were vaccinations that saw a progressive increase as eligibility continued to open up throughout the month couple with the third stimulus payment for Americans who qualified.

Another major factor was the easing of restrictions for businesses, allowing them to open up more offerings and service customers at an increased rate. It's also fair to assume that with more things opening up, wardrobes and appearances around the parish probably got a solid reset once we began seeing people in person again.

According to LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux, Lafayette shoppers are "ready to spend."

It’s clear from these numbers as operating restrictions are eased and businesses re-open or expand their services, shoppers are ready to spend in Lafayette Parish. Studies show that 80 percent of consumers feel more or as connected to their communities now compared to pre-pandemic. I hope that connection and community support continue to carry over into supporting local businesses to further fuel our economic recovery.

The record numbers were spread amongst Lafayette Parish, showing increases in all municipalities.

Lafayette (18.1%), Broussard (10.8%), Carencro (50.4%), Duson (29.2%), Scott (18.2%), and Youngsville (27.0%). Sales are also up in unincorporated areas of the parish at 13.4%.

With the record sales tax number in March, Lafayette Parish sales tax numbers saw year-to-date taxable sales reach $1.77 billion. That is a 19% increase from 2020 and %17.6 overall increase from 2019.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.