Dec 2013 12

By Rodrick Miller, Pres­i­dent & CEO

In the story of New Orleans’ eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, small busi­nesses play a lead­ing role. Against the odds, tena­cious and savvy New Orlea­ni­ans have built their own com­pa­nies. Whether look­ing at tra­di­tional busi­ness to con­sumer com­pa­nies or high growth star­tups, New Orleans has proven itself as a mar­ket primed for growth. In fact, New Orleans leads the nation by 53% in our num­ber of start-ups per capita. It may also come as no sur­prise that the major­ity of busi­ness estab­lish­ments in New Orleans are small busi­nesses. Today, 90% of New Orleans com­pa­nies employ less than 25 peo­ple.
We should be proud of the strong pres­ence of small busi­nesses in New Orleans, how­ever, we must also pro­vide the sup­port they need to grow their rev­enues and employ more peo­ple. Nation­ally, since 1995, small busi­nesses (defined by the SBA as busi­nesses with >500 employ­ees) have gen­er­ated 64% of the new jobs in our econ­omy, and paid 44% of the total US pri­vate pay­roll. Accord­ing to the Inter­na­tional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Coun­cil, at least 70% of job growth in a com­mu­nity occurs when exist­ing busi­nesses grow and expand – there­fore, sup­port­ing small busi­ness growth is a crit­i­cal strat­egy for New Orleans to increase jobs and investment.

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Dec 2013 10

For our most recent newslet­ter issue focus­ing on small busi­ness, we caught up with Phyl­lis Cas­sidy, Founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Good­Work Net­work to learn more about her organization’s work in New Orleans.

What does your orga­ni­za­tion do to sup­port small busi­nesses and entrepreneurs?

We pro­vide one-on-one coun­sel­ing and train­ing for over 700 small busi­ness own­ers and aspir­ing entre­pre­neurs each year. The core of our train­ing is a 30-hour Entre­pre­neur­ship Series, which is an inten­sive course that teaches par­tic­i­pants about crit­i­cal busi­ness func­tions and helps them to com­plete a full busi­ness plan. In addi­tion to train­ing, we work with busi­nesses to develop mar­ket­ing strate­gies, build finan­cial record keep­ing sys­tems, improve their credit, and address chal­lenges.  Once busi­nesses have a sound busi­ness struc­ture we con­nect them with mar­ket oppor­tu­ni­ties and assist them in access­ing capital.

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Dec 2013 10

For our most recent newslet­ter issue focus­ing on small busi­ness, we caught up with Car­men Sunda, Direc­tor of the Louisiana Small Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cen­ter Greater New Orleans Region (LSBDC GNOR) to learn more about her organization’s work in New Orleans.

What does your orga­ni­za­tion do to sup­port small busi­nesses and entrepreneurs?

The LSBDC GNOR pro­vides busi­ness edu­ca­tion, one on one con­fi­den­tial busi­ness con­sult­ing and access to cap­i­tal to small busi­ness own­ers and entre­pre­neurs. All con­sult­ing ser­vices are at no charge to the busi­ness owner. Access to cap­i­tal and loan pack­ag­ing con­sult­ing assis­tance con­tin­ues to be the num­ber one requested area of assis­tance and the LSBDC GNOR’s num­ber one area of exper­tise. The orga­ni­za­tion is one of 8 cen­ters in Louisiana and part of a national accred­ited net­work of SBDC’s. The LSBDC GNOR annu­ally serves approx­i­mately 1200 busi­ness own­ers through­out the Greater New Orleans and Bayou Regions (10 parishes). The LSBDC cel­e­brated 30 years of assis­tance in 2013 and the LSBDC GNOR was named the top SBDC in the nation earn­ing the U. S. Small Busi­ness Administration’s Inno­va­tion and Excel­lence Award for 2013. Locally, the LSBDC GNOR is funded through a coop­er­a­tive agree­ment with the U.S. Small Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tive, Louisiana Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment and Del­gado Com­mu­nity Col­lege, Loy­ola Uni­ver­sity and Xavier University.

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Dec 2013 10

For our most recent newslet­ter issue focus­ing on small busi­nesses, we caught up with Vaughn Fau­ria — Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of New­Corp, Inc. to learn more about her organization’s work in New Orleans.

What does your orga­ni­za­tion do to sup­port small busi­nesses and entre­pre­neurs?

New­Corp is a non-profit Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment Finan­cial Insti­tu­tion (CDFI) offer­ing non-traditional finan­cial and tech­ni­cal assis­tance ser­vices that sup­port the growth and devel­op­ment of small and emerg­ing busi­nesses in the greater New Orleans area and the State of Louisiana. Over 85% of our clients are small, dis­ad­van­taged and minor­ity busi­nesses gen­er­ated less than $2 mil­lion in annual rev­enues and employ less than 10 full-time equiv­a­lent employees.

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