NEW ORLEANS – Yesterday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu applauded the successes of the City’s economic development efforts throughout 2016. The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) continued to celebrate the attraction and retention of nationally-recognized retailers and the continued distinction of New Orleans as an incubator for economic innovation and growth.
“When I took office in 2010, we had a clear goal— cultivate job growth and create opportunities for all New Orleans residents,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Since then, we have added more than 15,000 new jobs by attracting and retaining businesses that are committed to hiring across New Orleans. We are showing the world that New Orleans can support nationally-recognized retailers and serve as a hub for innovation.”
Rebecca Conwell, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Economic Development, said, “In 2016, we continued our focus on both national and local business retention while also putting a concerted emphasis on small business support. Through our efforts, the word is out that New Orleans is the place to be.”
Major Business Attraction Wins, Job Creation and Drop in Unemployment Rate
In 2016, a number of local and national retailers opened their doors in New Orleans, giving residents greater access to fresh food, high-end shopping and health resources.
- Dryades Public Market
- Nordstrom Rack
- True Religion Jeans
- New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood
- CVS Lower 9th Ward
- Part and Parcel
- Higher Power Fitness
Since May 2010, the Landrieu Administration has created more than 15,000 new jobs. As of October 2016, the city’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 percent to 5.8 percent. Unemployment of African-American men also decreased from 52 percent to 44 percent.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Continues to Grow
The City began the year by breaking ground on the $807 million North Terminal Project, scheduled to be complete by Oct. 1, 2018, in time for the 300th anniversary of the City of New Orleans. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport now provides service via 17 airlines to 59 non-stop destinations, including seven international destinations. Two new non-stop services, British Airways and Condor, are reconnecting New Orleans with Europe for the first time in 30 years. Additionally, today we added a new international direct flight to Honduras.
Strategic and aggressive business attraction efforts pay off for New Orleans
The city continues to earn accolades for creating an economy that attracts and retains innovative retail and tech businesses.
- SmartAsset magazine: #1 in the Nation for Creatives and #2 Tech Employment Growth in the U.S.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Innovation That Matters”: Top 25 Cities Ready to Navigate the Next Wave of the Digital Economy
Two digital software companies relocated to New Orleans in 2016.
- Select Laboratory Software – Software developer out of North Carolina that develops software used in toxicology and clinical laboratories nationwide.
- TOPXIGHT LA – A tech incubator that focuses on deep machine learning, cybersecurity and data analytics.
Additionally, Collision, the largest tech conference in the U.S. experienced a 47 percent attendance increase upon moving to New Orleans in 2016. Collision has since committed to holding the conference in New Orleans in 2017 and in 2018.
City and NOLABA Bio and Health Services Cultivation
- NOLABA hired the state’s only economic developer solely focused on building a robust Bio and Health Services Innovation industry cluster, Amritha Appaswami, who now leads these efforts.
- The new Cobalt Medical Center opened in Mid-City, a $24 million state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility to treat traumatic brain injuries, concussions, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.
- Innovation Louisiana was co-sponsored with New Orleans BioInnovation Center to improve bioinnovation entrepreneurs’ access to services and capital necessary to growth.
Nurturing New Orleans’ Small Business Success
To support an ecosystem that encourages the success of small businesses, the City of New Orleans, NOLABA and StayLocal implemented a number of initiatives to create opportunities and provide resources to local businesses.
- NOLABA launched the Anchor Institutions Initiative in a strategic effort to connect local small businesses with procurement and contracting opportunities with organizations so deeply rooted in New Orleans that they are unlikely to move, such as hospitals, universities and the Sewerage & Water Board.
- NOLABA launched a dedicated small business workstream supported by a $375,000 grant from Surdna Foundation.
- In 2016, NOLABA gathered local economic development professionals to enhance collaboration and overall effectiveness across the city,with the first event attended by nearly 40 economic development professionals from multiple organizations and agencies.
- This year, NOLABA co-hosted educational sessions for entrepreneurs and small businesses with local experts on the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rule change and Louisiana Benefit Corporation opportunities.
- In partnership with StayLocal, the City of New Orleans released a Road Construction Toolkit for New Orleans Businesses. The toolkit features important contact information, practical tips and technical assistance so businesses can continue to thrive during road construction.
- This year, the New Orleans Workforce Investment Board dedicated an industry subcommittee to increase employment opportunities in high-demand fields.
Supporting Growth of DBEs
- $88.6 million in City contracts were committed to DBE firms, representing 34.61% of all contracts awarded.
- $42.7 million was paid to DBE firms, representing 39.05% DBE utilization for City contracts
- $18.9 million in City construction contracts were awarded to DBEs as Prime Contractors
- $14.4 million in goods and services contracts for the City were awarded to DBE Prime Contractors
- 95 new DBE firms were certified.
- Graduates of the BuildNOLA training program were awarded over $3 million in public and private sector contracts