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New Orleans Business Alliance and Mastercard Announce New Campaign to Promote Local Spending this Holiday Season

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), in partnership with Mastercard, is proud to launch “Homegrown Holidays,” a new holiday shopping campaign supporting retail businesses across seven disinvested New Orleans neighborhoods where NOLABA has increasingly concentrated its economic development efforts: Algiers, East New Orleans, Gentilly, Gert Town, Hollygrove, Lower 9th Ward, and Tremé.

With a combined 1,000+ small businesses, these communities are the primary focus of NOLABA’s Resilient Corridors Initiative – a joint program with the City of New Orleans to advance commercial revitalization through direct funding and technical support for local businesses, neighborhood organizations, and business associations.

New Orleans’ small business owners continue to struggle from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of Hurricane Ida, which created even more setbacks on their road to recovery. The “Homegrown Holidays” campaign encourages residents in the designated neighborhoods and throughout the city to invest in their neighborhood retailers, restaurants, and personal service providers as the holiday season approaches. As an incentive to shoppers, Mastercard is providing $200 Gift Cards to each participating merchant. The gift cards will be awarded to customers shopping at the businesses during the campaign, which runs from Black Friday (November 26) to New Year’s Eve (December 31).

To promote the campaign, NOLABA is launching a strategic marketing blitz, which includes radio, print and TV interviews, digital ads, radio spots, as well as signage and promotional materials at the participating merchants and throughout the seven neighborhoods, to create awareness, build excitement and engage more New Orleanians to participate in the “Homegrown Holidays” initiative.

“Now more than ever, there is a strong consumer desire to use our purchasing power to give back to our local communities, supporting the businesses that are the very foundation of our economies,” said Miguel Gamino, EVP Global Cities | Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard. “We are proud to continue our work with NOLABA to ensure that we’re focusing our efforts on those neighborhoods and businesses that have been hardest hit to support their resurgence.”

“These seven vibrant neighborhoods represent the heartbeat of New Orleans. Years of disinvestment have left it to the commitment of small businesses to help sustain these communities,” said Lynnette White-Colin, Senior VP of Small Business Growth at NOLABA. “In partnership with Mastercard, the New Orleans Business Alliance is excited to launch this campaign to create visibility for these 50 local businesses as well as a cash incentive for residents to support them during the holiday season.”

“We are so grateful to be able to participate in this holiday campaign that will help drive more customers – new and existing – into our stores for the holidays,” said Trinise Prosper, Owner of Heavenly Sweets Bakery. “Due to the pandemic, we’ve experienced a definite decrease in sales, but we are hopeful that through the marketing efforts of the ‘Homegrown Holidays’ campaign, our store will finally start to see an increase in sales this holiday season.”

“When people shop local, eat local, and spend local, they keep money where it belongs – right here in our local economy. Thank you to NOLABA for helping people to invest in entrepreneurship and nurturing a sense of community for our neighborhoods and small businesses,” said DJ Johnson, Owner of Baldwin & Co. Coffee + Bookstore.

NOLABA and Mastercard hope “Homegrown Holidays” will not only spur a spike in holiday purchasing activity for local businesses in the affected communities but continue to build momentum for the city’s economy into the Mardi Gras and Festival seasons returning in the first quarter of 2022.

This campaign represents just one of many ongoing initiatives led by NOLABA’s Strategic Neighborhood Development team to increase economic activity and growth within these seven core areas, each of which is largely populated by African American residents and sustained commercially by many black-owned small and micro-businesses. One such example includes the recent opening of applications for Phase II of NOLABA’s Resilient Corridors Initiative (RCI), which provides local entrepreneurs in these communities with direct technical support to facilitate their recovery and growth. Business owners can apply now through December 20, 2021, at nolaba.org/resilient-corridors.

The campaign also aligns with and supports ongoing efforts of Mastercard to support America’s small businesses, building upon its commitment to the City of New Orleans, its people, and the local business community. New Orleans is one of seven cities in Mastercard’s “In Solidarity” initiative, a $500 million commitment to closing the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black Americans. Through this partnership, Mastercard will host diverse programming for small businesses across New Orleans, increasing access to the digital economy, improving financial literacy, supporting HBCU’s and collaborating with City leaders, utilizing data to drive inclusive economic growth.

Mastercard has curated a set of solutions and resources to help guide, grow and protect small businesses during these difficult times and move forward together toward recovery. For additional information and resources, click here.

Learn more about the “Homegrown Holidays” campaign launching Black Friday and see a list of participating businesses at www.nolaba.org/homegrown-holidays.


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