NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Business Alliance proudly releases our 2019/2020 Annual Impact Report this month, showcasing the organization’s major accomplishments, transformational growth, and increasing investment in the local community over the last several years.
As one of fewer than 90 accredited economic development organizations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, NOLABA was formed in 2010 through a coalition of business and civic leaders to employ the best practices in economic development to position New Orleans as the ideal intersection of commerce and culture. Since that time, the organization has undergone a series of transformations in order to better serve the citizens, neighborhoods, and business communities of New Orleans, leading to its current four-pronged business model and focus on “Culture. Equity. Prosperity.”
As outlined in the report, 2019 and 2020 were pivotal years for both NOLABA and the entire city of New Orleans as a whole. The first-ever Annual Meeting and the launch of its new tagline, website, and revolutionary small business programs/tools in June 2019, helped provide a foundation that allowed NOLABA to achieve the level of impact and results for New Orleanians during the COVID-19 pandemic the following year.
Those metrics included:
- $1.5M in total direct relief provided during COVID-19
- $1M in financial assistance through the Gig Economy Workers COVID-19 Relief Fund
- $50K in masks purchased to assist local small business owners in reopening
- 300K in wages paid to unemployed workers through Get Shift Done for NOLA
- $70K in financial relief issued to small businesses awaiting federal loan support through Project HVAC
- 717 stakeholders/residents engaged through Strategic Neighborhood Development initiatives
- $400K linked to projects to support community-driven development and commercial revitalization
- $2.58M in PPP loans submitted through City-partnered program to provide technical assistance to underrepresented business owners
As a result of this life-changing work for the people of New Orleans during one of the direst and unprecedented financial crises in history, NOLABA was awarded its highest total number of accolades from the International Economic Development Council and a series of individual staff accomplishments, which included then President & CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. being named Biz New Orleans Magazine’s “CEO of the Year.”
“While immensely challenging and downright exhausting at times, seeing the ways in which this organization has continued to push forward in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges and step up for the people of New Orleans these last years has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” said current Interim President & CEO of NOLABA Norman E. Barnum, IV. “With each new day and obstacle, we continued to innovate and leverage our unique position as a public-private partnership to make a real difference in the lives of New Orleanians at a time they needed us most. In the wake of COVID-19, there are still many challenges on the horizon for our city and organization, but I am confident that we will continue to overcome as we’ve always done. We have shown what we are capable of when we come together, and as a result, the future of New Orleans has never been brighter.”