NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Business Alliance said the federal government has made a $400,000 investment in a program to help small businesses set up shop in the New Orleans neighborhoods that have been most impacted by the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, will be used to support grants and training for entrepreneurs interested in starting businesses along commercial corridors located in New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth Ward, Hollygrove, Gert Town, Gentilly, Treme and Algiers.
The EDA investment will help fund phase two of the Resilient Corridors Initiative, a partnership betwen NOLABA and the City of New Orleans that began last year. During that first phase, qualifying businesses received $5,000 grants, training and access to capital. NOLABA plans to expand the program to another 40 participants.
“This grant award represents a lot of hard work by NOLABA’s Strategic Neighborhood Development and Grants Administration teams, in conjunction with the communities that we endeavor to serve better,” said NOLABA President and CEO Quentin L. Messer Jr. in a press release. “This award will not address all of the challenges before us, and much remains to be done. However, it is a most welcome validation that New Orleans, its residents, and NOLABA as its accredited economic development organization; remain worthy, willing, and able to receive these types of investment and implement best practices to transform our neighborhoods.”
“As a small business owner navigating the day-to-day uncertainties COVID-19 continues to have on operations, the resources New Orleans Business Alliance provides are quite impactful to our efforts to remain a viable commercial development during this economic period,” said Jon Renthrope, found and CEO of Cajun Fire Brewing Company. “I believe the intentionality and the leadership of the Resiliency Initiative will have a lasting equitable impact on the reinvestment of disparaged communities in Orleans Parish.”
For more information about NOLABA, visit www.nolaba.org.