Vol. 13: The Best of Times

The Best of Times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

So which is it? For Greater New Orleans, is it the season of Darkness, or the spring of Hope?

Recently, an economist questioned our recovery. And indeed, we do have some challenges. But with all due respect to the dismal science, the facts we are seeing here on the ground are broadly positive, and highly encouraging:

These facts include:

  • After a recent week in New Orleans, the Editor in Chief of World Trade 100 magazine wrote that “the transformation that’s taking place in this city both socially and economically is stunning.”
  • Southern Business and Development just named New Orleans “Major Market of the Year,” based in part on the $200M investment in Federal City
  • Other major projects, like Ochsner Baptist ($30M) and Second Line Studios ($40M) are coming on-line
  • The GNO, Inc. business development pipeline now has over 35 projects, representing 3,700 potential jobs and over $2 billion in investment
  • Entrepreneurism is booming, with companies like iSeatz recently named #67 on the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies list
  • Sales taxes are at 92% of pre-Katrina levels, despite lower population and a recession
  • Convention business is in-fact coming back strong, with bookings back to pre-storm levels
  • Michoud has a bright long-term future under new management, and GNO, Inc. demand analysis indicates that most of the highly-trained Shuttle workers will quickly find new employment in the region
  • $10 billion of new investment is not only providing jobs today, but building the infrastructure that will encourage investment tomorrow
  • Recent GNO, Inc.-led legislation now makes the New Orleans region one of the most attractive in the country for emerging industries, like digital media
  • Based on the above, Entrepreneur magazine ran a front page cover story declaring that New Orleans is “The Blueprint for Economic Recovery”

So which is it? Who is right? Do we have everything before us, or nothing before us?
I think it is clear which camp I am in. However, this happy ending is still to be written. I sincerely believe that it is up to us, the business and economic development community, to write this ending. Through our leadership, we can ensure that the best does indeed come to pass.

Michael Hecht
President & CEO

Economic Development News

Louisiana earns top ranking among states for “economic momentum”
Full story…

Louisiana leads nation in construction job growth
Full story…

New Orleans earns ‘Major Market of the Year’ by Southern Business & Development
Full story…

Cao announces $154M for 2nd District projects
Full story…

Big Lots officially opens Chalmette store
Full story…

2009 Tales of the Cocktail had nearly $10M impact
Full story…

Nucor buys most of land needed for St. James Parish plant
Full story…

New Orleans area gains 700 jobs in August
Full story…

Louisiana jumps in latest Forbes ranking of the best states for business
Full story…

iSeatz expansion goes global with Air France-KLM partnership
Full story…

New Orleans rebounds to lead nation in income growth
Full story…

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Louisiana had the highest increase in median income level in 2008
Full story…

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Around the Region

Announcements and Events

USS New York hoping for grand New Orleans send-off
October 13, 2009
Full story…

21st Annual Entergy Teamwork Louisiana Conference
October 14, 2009
Full story…

GNO Digital Media Alliance
October 20, 2009
Full story…

(Inno)State: Louisiana’s Statewide Annual Innovation Summit
October 21, 2009
Full story…

TribeCon: The Community Conference with the Voodoo Experience
October 29 – 30, 2009
Full story…

6th Annual LTC Ewards
October 29, 2009
Full story…

Brownfields Annual Conference
November 16 – 18, 2009
Full story…

Do you have news or events that you would like to share in our upcoming editions? Let us know…
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