In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Orleans was the third most COVID-19 exposed metro area in the country, outside of Las Vegas and Orlando, due to its reliance on hospitality/leisure spending. Within New Orleans, key communities that were once thriving or emerging entrepreneurial hubs, after years of disinvestment and natural disasters, now struggle to regain footing as we enter the post-pandemic world. To address the record economic fallout while supporting the entrepreneurial community, the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) launched a $250,000 pilot program to harvest businesses and commercial corridors within the following seven neighborhoods identified as part of the NOLABA Strategic Neighborhood Development (SND) Strategy: New Orleans East, Lower 9, Hollygrove, Gert Town, Gentilly, Treme, and Algiers.
The program provided small seed funding and technical assistance to help implement strategies to sustain their presence through this period of economic downturn. During the pilot, NOLABA selected 40 small businesses located in our impact neighborhoods. Pilot program participants received a $5000 mini-grant to support immediate/emergency business operations, customized professional technical services from a cadre of diverse experts, and practitioners in business planning, mentorship, and access to capital as well as attended quarterly capacity-building webinars on Technology, Finance, Workforce, and Accounting.
NOLABA and partners are working to implement Phase Two of Resilient Corridor Initiative:
RCI Phase II program is designed to help small businesses in seven data based selected impact neighborhoods expand their business knowledge, develop growth/pivot strategies and provide technical assistance in multiple areas such as finance, marketing and more. Over the next 12-18 months, we will work with the selected small businesses in the following industries: Food Production/Manufacturing, Technology, and Allied Health/Biosciences to collaborate with a team of industry experts, mentors, investors, and peers who will help accelerate growth, increase sustainability, and build the tools and connections needed to implement growth strategies. Participants will have exclusive access to data tools, technology to support pivoting business models; outline cross-sector business collaboration to be able to enter new markets, real estate considerations/strategies to expand and scale businesses as well as participate in quarterly capacity-building webinars and networking events.
Phase II will only provide customized direct professional services to the selected small businesses and leverage our partnership to provide selected businesses opportunities for access to capital to include grant support, investment, and loan opportunities.
As part of an intentional and strategic response to meet the needs of these vital communities, the City of New Orleans and NOLABA launched a joint program called the “Resilient Corridors Initiative” to provide financial support to these businesses. This customized support will help ensure their ability to maintain operations through COVID-19 and allow them to continue to act as anchors for future economic growth within these strategic neighborhoods. NOLABA and the City invested $250k to initiate the pilot program, to support a cohort of 40 businesses currently located, or with plans to expand within our impact neighborhoods. Businesses chosen to participate in the pilot program received $5,000 in grant funding and customized technical support from a cadre of diverse experts and practitioners to help implement strategies to sustain their presence through this period of economic downturn and recovery.
Through an initial $250,000 from the City, a cohort of 40 businesses currently located in or with plans to expand within the seven Resilient Corridors was chosen to participate in the pilot program and received $5,000 in grant funding and currently receiving technical support from a cadre of diverse experts and practitioners in business planning, marketing, technology and access to capital. The goal is to help these businesses implement strategies to sustain their presence through this pandemic-related economic downturn and recovery period. Technical assistance is tailored specifically to the unique needs of each business participating in the pilot program.
Looking for Small Businesses that
Interested in growth strategies for scaling their small business; to include opportunities for pitch competition with investors in the food, technology, and bioscience industries.
Offer new business models or pivot strategies in collaboration with other local businesses to improve business processes/systems.
Interested in technical assistance that is tailored to the needs of your business to support pivoting business model and expansion opportunities
Businesses Located in the following neighborhoods
New Orleans East
Lower Ninth Ward
Program Focus on the following business industry/sectors
Businesses must be operating for a minimum of 18 months.
Businesses located (or will locate) in one of the eligible corridor areas. The business location must be in a commercial or industrial space. Home-based businesses are not eligible.
Businesses working in the following sectors: BioScience/Healthcare, Technology, and Food Production/Manufacturing
Businesses whose operations were interrupted and/or suffered losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
November 19 - December 20, 2021
Notification of Participation:
December 29, 2021
January 5, 2022
Wednesday, January 12, 2022