Forward New Orleans

Economic Opportunity

To become a global leader, New Orleans must create conditions that attract, retain, and grow thriving businesses in a variety of sectors – and ensure access across all demographics to the opportunities that economic growth creates.

The Economic Opportunity Platform


+ Empower the New Orleans Business Alliance as the primary economic engine for the City.

Commit to fund NOLABA at the current or increased level and maintain the current structure as a public-private partnership. Provide NOLABA with the tools necessary to operate as the City’s economic development arm, while collaborating with regional and state economic development organizations. Dedicate a portion of the Economic Development Fund to a “closing fund,” used exclusively for closing deals where City capital is required to secure significant new business or expand existing business. Develop performance measures around NOLABA programming, including workforce development, with an aim to impact and reduce unemployment. Require semi-annual updates on performance to the City Council.

+ Support foundational and emerging industries, and champion workforce development initiatives in those sectors.

Continue efforts to position New Orleans as a global leader by supporting foundational drivers, including the Port of New Orleans and the Louis Armstrong International Airport. Promote and sustain the hospitality industry as critical to the health of the local economy, and continue to back hospitality initiatives. Capitalize on the growth of emerging industries, including healthcare and technology, through policymaking and resource dedications. Continue to improve connections between the local workforce and private sector by collaborating extensively with significant local employers to identify and respond to training and personnel needs.

+ Maintain and support the mission of the Office of Supplier Diversity.

Support the Office of Supplier Diversity by continuing current levels of funding and staffing, including a full-time compliance officer. Maintain commitment to aggressive goal-setting for DBE participation, and continue to track participation in City contracts, committed DBE award values, and payments made to DBEs for work on City projects. Using the B2GNOW technology, track new DBE certifications and first-time DBE participation on a project-by-project basis. Maintain regular reporting of these measures to the City Council. Encourage small and disadvantaged business participation in the marketplace through training and capacity building programs. Engage in targeted outreach to the DBE community on meaningful contract opportunities.

+ Pay City contractors timely.

Make the changes necessary to ensure that contractors who perform City work are consistently paid in accordance with contractual terms and in compliance with the Louisiana Public Bid laws. Enable small and disadvantaged businesses to participate in City projects by relieving the cash flow problems created by slow contractor payments. Use existing technology, such as the B2GNOW program, to track and publicly report contractor payments. Utilize a mobilization fund to complement, rather than replace, timely contractor payments.

+ Preserve procurement reforms and increase transparency on City projects.

Mandate continued use by all departments of the reformed contracting procedures for professional services contracts, requests for qualifications, and requests for proposal. Go beyond the minimum Public Bid Law notice and advertising requirements for City projects by developing an opt-in notification process or portal for contractors and utilizing media outlets. Use the portal for outreach on new projects, bid delays, selection committee meetings, projects cancelations, and other important information. Increase transparency by making the portal the City’s primary source of information for pre-award notifications, and continuously update it with timely information.