Vol. 36: A Year of Progress, a Future of Promise


Happy New Year from everyone at GNO, Inc.

2013 was a busy and productive year in Greater New Orleans, as we continued our progress towards building an economy and community that represent not only recovery, but actually improvement on pre-Katrina conditions.

Here at GNO, Inc., we secured historic and diverse Business Development wins like the GE Capital IT Center of Excellence, Smoothie King headquarters retention and Mosaic industrial expansion. In Public Policy we enjoyed a record 85% rate of legislative success, including targeted economic development incentives, a new office of International Commerce, and passage of RESTORE Act to stabilize our coast. Finally, GNO, Inc. received numerous awards, including a Gold Medal for the Super-Region Committee (with our partners from Baton Rouge), and being recognized as the #2 Economic Development Organization in the U.S.A.

You can read more about GNO, Inc. 2012 Highlights here.


The region and the state also enjoyed unprecedented recognition, and are currently at the highest point in every ranking in history, including:

  • Greater New Orleans was named the #1 Growing Metro Area for Employment
  • Greater New Orleans Leads the USA by 30% in number of startups-per-capita
  • Greater New Orleans was ranking a Top 20 Strongest Performing economy in the USA
  • 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
  • Louisiana was ranked #1 state for Economic Growth Potential, Workforce Training, and Digital Media
  • Louisiana was voted the Most Improved State in the U.S. by national CEOs
  • Louisiana was rated a Top Ten State in the USA for Overall Tax Competitiveness
  • Louisiana has enjoyed 5 straight years of net in-migration

You can read more about our STARs (Statistics, Testimonials, Awards and Recognition) here.


Looking forward to 2013, we expect another busy year, filled with opportunity, as well as some challenges. We will continue to drive Business Development across our six core sectors – energy, trade, advanced manufacturing, digital, medical and emerging environmental – while Product Development focuses on policy, workforce, capital and brand issues fundamental to our attractiveness. Beyond this, GNO, Inc. will also be engaging in six “Big Issues” that are potential gating factors to our long-term success:

  • Flood Protection – Ensuring that Southeast Louisiana remains viable for future generations of businesses and families.
  • State Fiscal Reform – Evolving a tax and exemption system that best supports the long-term economic development of the region and state.
  • Airport (International Flights) – Ensuring that Greater New Orleans has the connectivity required to be a first-tier region for international business and other economic development opportunities.
  • Leadership Development – Maintaining momentum and continuity by developing the next generation of civic leaders.
  • Workforce Development – Ensuring adequate quantity, quality and diversity of workforce to meet increased industry demands.
  • The New Orleans Brand – Continuing to close the perception gap between current views and the “new” New Orleans.

In summary, we have made remarkable, historic progress – but we cannot yet claim success. Success will come with sustained improvement, and this will require the continued energies and abilities of everyone in Greater New Orleans. For this we thank you, and wish you a prosperous 2013.

Michael Hecht
President and CEO
Greater New Orleans, Inc.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Mosaic considering Faustina plant expansion
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La. keeps Smoothie King
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New Orleans stays No. 1 in recovery; BR mid-pack
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Where Americans Are Moving
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In Katrina’s shadow, New Orleans’ startups take flight
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Think America’s game is up? Take a trip to New Orleans and you’ll find a different story
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Serving Those Who Served
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The Rise of the Third Coast
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For Fat City, Times Square booster advises focus, art, patience
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