30 Nov Shoppers Buying Local This Holiday Season


NEW ORLEANS — As the holiday season is in full swing, retailers are looking for you to spend more. From Magazine to Maple Street, small businesses owners are continuing their push to attract those shopping for the holidays.
The timing couldn’t be more crucial, according to Melissa Ehlinger with the New Orleans Business Alliance. “In the last couple of year there has been phenomenal growth in retail, both national and local expansions.”
For many small businesses the holiday season is make or break for their bottom line. “Those local corridors like Magazine, Freret, Oak and Harrison, those are so important because they have the smaller spaces so they can grow. They are walkable. They serve the neighborhoods around them,” Ehlinger said.
Small businesses are a vital part of the state economy. In Louisiana they account for more than half of all the private-sector jobs.
New Orleans suffered a blow in local retail following Hurricane Katrina. The city fell below the national average when it came to retail space per capita for
a major metro city. But things have turned around. “It is so interesting,” Ehlinger said. “Three years ago we were calling people and they would not even pick up the phone. Now they are calling us. It has
really been a transformative time for retail here in New Orleans.”