GNO, Inc. Results

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GNO, Inc. has helped to both drive and promote broad third-party recognition over the past two years, which is repositioning Greater New Orleans as an outstanding place to live and work:

Economic Development

  • GNO, Inc. ranked as #2 Economic Development Organization in the U.S. (tied) [Business Facilities]
  • Greater New Orleans is the #2 Boomtown in America, due to population and GDP growth [Bloomberg]
  • New Orleans was named the #1 City (of 475) for Employment, Income, and Population [NerdWallet]
  • New Orleans was ranked the #2 “Aspirational” City in the USA based on economy, demographics and quality of life [Daily Beast]
  • Greater New Orleans was named the #3 Big City Winning the IT Jobs Battle (after Silicon Valley and San Francisco) [Forbes]
  • Greater New Orleans was ranked #4 Western Hemisphere City of the Future (Mid-Sized) for Economic Development Potential [fDi]
  • Louisiana is the #1 Most Improved State on the “Best States for Business” ranking since 2008 [Forbes]
  • Louisiana was named “#1 Most Cooperative State Government in the USA,” as well as Top 5 for Incentives, Economic Recovery, Speed of Permitting, Workforce Training, Cost of Doing Business, Business Climate and Labor Climate [Area Development]
  • Louisiana was ranked #1 state for Economic Growth Potential, Workforce Training, and Digital Media [Business Facilities]
  • Greater New Orleans was named the #1 Growing Metro Area for Employment [Brookings Inst.]
  • Greater New Orleans was the #1 Most Improved on the “Best Business Cities” list [Wall Street Journal]
  • Greater New Orleans was named #2 in Post-Recession Performance in the USA [Brookings Institution]
  • Louisiana was voted the #11 Best State for Business, its highest ranking ever, by national CEOs [Chief Executive magazine]
  • Louisiana was rated a Top Ten State in the USA for Overall Tax Competitiveness [Tax Foundation+ KPMG]
  • Talent / Workforce

  • New Orleans was ranked #1 on the list of “America’s Biggest Brain Magnets” [Forbes]
  • 2-year graduates in Greater New Orleans are 25% more likely to get an advanced manufacturing job than elsewhere in the USA [Brookings Institution]
  • Louisiana’s workers are ranked the Most Engaged Workforce in the USA [Gallup]
  • LED FastStart workforce training has been ranked #1 in the USA 4 years in row [Business Facilities]
  • New Orleans has grown faster than any other major U.S. city since 2010 [U.S. Census Bureau]
  • Louisiana has enjoyed 5 straight years of net in-migration [US Census Bureau]
  • Entrepreneurship

  • New Orleans Leads USA by 53% in number of startups-per-capita [GNO Community Data Center]
  • New Orleans was ranked the 6th Best City for Young Entrepreneurs [Under30CEO.com]
  • Louisiana was rated the #2 State in the USA to Start a Company [Tax Foundation + KPMG]
  • Louisiana is #4 in the USA for Growth in Woman-owned Firms [American Express]
  • Quality of Life

  • New Orleans ranked in Top 5 “Most Affordable Cities for Households” in the USA [Intuit Spending Index]
  • Louisiana was named #2 Best State to Retire in the USA [Bankrate.com]
  • New Orleans was named “America’s Best City for School Reform” [Thomas B. Fordham Institute]

Business Development

During the past two years, GNO, Inc. has materially assisted with over 3,000 jobs, worth nearly $140M in new tax revenues, for the Greater New Orleans region:  unprecedented success in both number of jobs and diversity of companies.  Business development wins have included:

Businesses Recruited to Greater New Orleans

  • Gameloft:  160 jobs; the #2 developer of mobile video games in the world chose New Orleans over all N. American sites for its first major studio expansion in the hemisphere
  • Globalstar:  600 jobs, $10M investment; publicly-traded satellite voice and data company relocated headquarters from Silicon Valley to Covington
  • Blade Dynamics:  600 jobs, $27M investment; European windmill blade manufacturer, in joint venture with Dow and American Superconductor, moved headquarters to New Orleans
  • Bayou FX: 10 jobs, $500K investment; computer graphics and digital effects studio with links to George Lucas founded to serve the film industry in Louisiana

Businesses Retained – and Grown – in Greater New Orleans

  • Reilly Foods:  156 jobs, $5M investment; assistance with Modernization Tax Credit allowed company to meet new production line requirements,  leading to retention and growth of historic local manufacturing facility
  • Folgers:  600 jobs, $69M investment; national consolidation to three locations in Orleans and St. Tammany parishes
  • Bradken:  400 jobs, $18.1M investment; Australian foundry in Amite expanded in GNO after global site search
  • Turnbull Bakeries:  30 jobs, $1M investment; the only U.S. producer of Melba toast, originally founded in New Orleans in 1907, resumed operations after a Katrina shutdown

Businesses Assisted with Growth in Greater New Orleans

  • Search Influence:  40 jobs, $250K investment; full service social media and marketing company “on-shored” jobs from India to Greater New Orleans
  • Jackson Square Group:  22 jobs, $50K investment; digital media company, designing and executing data sampling software, chose New Orleans to launch and grow business
  • The Receivables Exchange:  60 jobs, $17M investment; electronic marketplace for accounts receivable expanded its operations within the region; won award from Wall Street Journal

Public Policy

At the same time that GNO, Inc. has enjoyed historic success with its business development effort, the organization has also led the way in major legislative reforms, helping to create one of the best business climates in the nation (currently ranked #7, highest ever).  With a successful passage rate of 75% – 85%, highlights of GNO, Inc.’s Public Policy efforts include:

Improving the Tax Climate

  • Elimination of Capital Gains Tax on Business Sale:  Led effort to eliminate capital gains tax on sale of privately-held business, reversing outmigration of entrepreneurs and wealth; called “most important piece of job legislation in 20 years” by president of major bank

Supporting Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  • Digital Media Incentive: Led effort to improve the Digital Media Tax Credit Program by expanding the program to all types of technology applications and allowing the 35% benefit to be issued as a simple rebate
  • Angel Investor Tax Credit:  Led reinstatement of tax credit program that expired in 2009; under the new law, private investments in Louisiana-based startups will receive a 35% credit
  • R&D and Tech Commercialization Incentives:  Supported successful initiative to extend these important innovation incentives

Supporting Industry

  • Quality Jobs:  Played integral role in legislation that extends the Quality Jobs program—arguably the most effective broad-based incentive program in the state, encouraging company growth, high wages, and health care benefits—through 2017
  • Energy:  Developed and led the “REEL” (Renewed Energy Economy for Louisiana) agenda, forecast to add up to 9,000 new jobs, by leveling the LA tax regime with neighbor states
  • Trade:  Played leading role in passage of key cargo and infrastructure incentives that will help position the GNO region for the widening of the Panama Canal
  • Nims Film Center Expansion:  Led regional effort to secure $1.55 million in state funds for expansion of the NIMS Film Center in Jefferson, building infrastructure capacity in film
  • Public Labor Agreement Prohibition:  Successfully represented broad business consensus against mandatory Public Labor Agreements

Improving Higher Education

  • Higher Education Reform:  Led statewide business coalition to enact higher education reforms – the GRAD Act 1.0 & 2.0 -  in partnership with Baton Rouge Area Chamber.  GRAD Act  legislation established new performance standards for colleges statewide in exchange for unprecedented autonomy
  • UNO Transfer to UL System:  Supported effort to move UNO to the UL system, where school will enjoy critical autonomy and support

Other Initiatives

GNO, Inc. leads a range of other initiatives focused creating jobs and wealth in Greater New Orleans.  These include:

  • New Orleans Startup Fund:  Working with regional business and financial leaders, GNO, Inc. helped launch a nonprofit venture fund focused on business creation and stimulation of investment in the Greater New Orleans region
  • IP Buildings: GNO, Inc. worked with Idea Village to open the nationally acclaimed “I.P. Building” for entrepreneurs in New Orleans.  The property now has dozens of startup and high-tech companies.  GNO, Inc. followed the original I.P. Building’s success by opening the “I.P. North” in downtown Covington; the second building is home to Bayou FX
  • Gulf Permit Index: When the federal government announced that it would lift the Deep Water Drilling Moratorium in October 2010, GNO, Inc. and the Business Council of Greater New Orleans pledged to track and report on permit issuance.  The resulting “Gulf Permit Index” (GPI) has become the standard for regular information on permits
  • Sustainable Industries Initiative:  Based on original, global research, GNO, Inc. launched an initiative to make Greater New Orleans the “Silicon Valley” of Sustainability:  home to companies that create jobs and wealth by solving environmental problems
  • Coastal Vitality Project:  In response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, GNO, Inc. launched the Coastal Vitality Project (CVP).  The CVP included an award-winning website and iPhone app to provide resources and helpful links.  Additionally, GNO, Inc. published a three-part Economic Impact Series to study the effects to the ecosystem, the effects of the federal drilling moratorium, and the damage to Louisiana’s ‘brand’
  • Southeast Super-Region Committee: GNO, Inc. established an unprecedented partnership with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, forming the “Southeast Super-Region Committee,” (SRC) to work on higher education, transportation, trade and innovation.  Early success of the SRC includes driving passage of the GRAD Act for higher education reform
  • Airport Improvement:  GNO, Inc. has been a driving force behind efforts to improve Louis Armstrong Airport, including support of improved governance, improved facilities, and the addition of domestic and international flights (e.g., WestJet)
  • GNOi  – In order to make everyone in Greater New Orleans an economic development marketer, GNO, Inc.’s NextGen Council developed the first-ever economic development smart-phone app:  GNOi (can be downloaded for free from the iPhone App Store)
  • Site Selector Tours – GNO, Inc. hosts quarterly tours for influential site selectors, resulting in new project leads, and broad positive exposure (e.g., a recent article entitled:  “The New Orleans Miracle”)
  • Media  – Given that brand is a major challenge for New Orleans and Louisiana, GNO, Inc. focuses on telling the story of the Greater  New Orleans Renaissance to local, national and  press – resulting in over 400 pieces in just three years