Business Incentives, Power Networks and a Whole Lotta Soul

June 9th, 2009 by Will Scott

So, I’m sitting in a fancy sushi restaurant in LA a couple weeks ago with a friend, who’s also a client. Everybody’s thin and beautiful (except us, of course), the decor is slick and gorgeous and the sushi and company were awesome.

Picture: Katsuya Brentwood, Los Angeles

We’re talking business and Marc says to me “why do you stay in New Orleans”?

Look, if you live here, you know why I stay in New Orleans. But for the rest of you, here’s a few:

  • I can often wear shorts in January
  • When you go out to see music, people are dancing
  • When you go to morning meeting at your kids’ school people are dancing
  • It’s funky, eclectic, exotic and refined
  • It’s a small town with an international vibe
  • There is a warmth that’s real, I mean real
  • There is a thriving business community who gets what’s important
  • It’s easy

Why not stay? I’ll leave that for someone else, I don’t know where else to go, you know? I love New York, I love San Diego, I love Paris, but none of them is this easy.

And, regardless of what the papers say, it’s a great place to start a business.

Ok, enough rah, rah, how bout some facts!

  • in 2008, Louisiana was 5th in the nation in Entrepreneurial activity
  • The Louisiana Angel Investor Tax Credit
  • The Digital Media / Motion Picture and Sound Recording Tax Credits
    Measures are underway to extend this to all technology firms
  • Unlike the rest of the country our unemployment rate is going down

And finally, we have GNO Inc. who is putting together the GNO Digital Media Alliance to advance the cause of Digital Media and Media as the next growth industry in Louisiana.

Michael Hecht of GNO Inc was kind enough to come speak with us and told us that GNO Inc has put together a data sheet with some key facts about New Orleans. At our Net2NO meeting on Tuesday night I suggested everyone with a blog should take it upon themselves to spread the good news.

On their web site it’s an image. I had it transcribed below:


The Greater New Orleans Reality Check

  • The Greater New Orleans region has international trade assets, such as six-class A railroads, excellent highway access and a location at the mouth of the Mississippi, that are unmatched anywhere in the country.
  • Our port system, taken from Plaquemines to Baton Rouge, is one of the largest in the world.
  • We have 88% of the nation’s oil rigs off our coast, and are in the top three in the country in oil and gas production. We are America’s Energy Coast.
  • Every single manned flight that has gone into space since Apollo has done so with a massive fuel tank built in one of the largest and most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world, right here at Michoud.
  • We are now the center of the third largest film producing region in the country, behind only Hollywood and New York.
  • The GNO region has a collection of colleges and universities that is as good, in quantity and quality, as that of any city of comparable size in our country. And these schools have come back strong: admissions at Tulane is up 180% from pre-storm levels.
  • 94% of our region is above sea level.
  • And, the technology exists to restore our wetlands and protect the remainder.
  • 9l% of the regional population is back.
  • And the population that is back is filled with highly educated and motivated “brain-gainers.”
  • Our region is experiencing a level of civic and business engagement that hasn’t been seen in decades.
  • Our region is embarking on one of the most ambitious educational reform programs in the history of our nation.
  • Here you can find a sense of place, a value for dollar and an overall quality of life that city planners have discussed since Jane Jacobs, but few actual regions can offer. In an ever more homogeneous world, the GNO region increasingly shines as a unique beacon of culture.
  • While the rest of the country is reeling from a massive financial crisis, we are relatively better-off thanks to billions of recovery dollars, a surplus from formerly high oil and gas prices, and record-breaking exports.

This is our reality. This is Greater New Orleans.

So, get out there and spread the good news. Post a comment with a link to your blog post and I’ll add it below with the others who are: