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"We’re now in our 20th year of helping small food producers grow their businesses through forging relationships with a strong community of shoppers and restaurants. Shopping locally for food at the Crescent City Farmers Market directly impacts our local food economy and encourages small food-based businesses to grow."

 – Kathryn Parker, executive director of Market Umbrella/the Crescent City Farmers Market.
The market supports more than 75 small businesses, and has increased direct access to fresh, local produce for over 100,000 New Orleanians annually.


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Sunni LeBeouf

Black History Month Spotlight This Black History Month, Cox Communications is proud to recognize Sunni LeBeouf for her prolific record of professional achievement, civic philanthropy,...




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MBDA Announces Grant Competition

The U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) recently launched a search for a prospective partner to operate an MBDA Business Center in New Orleans.

MBDA is looking for an organization to deliver business consulting services to minority-owned firms beginning April 1, 2016, providing them with increased access to public and private sector contracting opportunities, financing, and capital investments. New Orleans will be one of 29 MBDA centers around the country.

Successful applicants will be those that have experience in assisting minority firms with obtaining large scale contracts and financial transactions; accessing corporate supply chains; facilitating joint ventures, teaming arrangements, mergers and acquisitions; conducting export transactions; and performing minority business advocacy.

Applications are due December 3, 2015. For more information, visit or

Carnival Cruise Lines Partners with Saints

The official cruise line of the New Orleans Saints, Carnival Cruise Line has signed a multi-year agreement with the NFL franchise that includes in-game activities, promotions and ads at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, support for the Saints’ children’s literacy program, and onboard “Saints Sailgate Sailaways” — football themed deck parties. Carnival is currently the largest cruise operator in the city, operating two year-round ships out of New Orleans that together carry 400,000 guests each year.

Port of New Orleans Signs Agreement with Central Ohio

On October 12, following months of discussion and planning, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans and the Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA) signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at establishing a working alliance to enhance cooperation and grow new business between the region and the Port.

The two-year agreement, with annual renewal option, lays the groundwork for joint marketing activities, data interchange, regional market studies and cross training opportunities with the goal of developing new business and streamlining customer service between the Port and CORBA.

“The Port of New Orleans and the entire Lower Mississippi River historically has strong ties to business and industry throughout the Central Ohio River region,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “Today’s agreement solidifies our efforts to work together to enhance cooperation and foster a new generation of business for both parties. It’s a win-win for all.”

Small Business Optimism in Louisiana Remains Stagnant

The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Economic Trends Report shows that national small-business optimism showed little improvement from August to September.

The monthly Optimism Index improved 0.2 points to 96.1, well below the 42-year average of 98. Dawn Starns, state director of NFIB/Louisiana, said these finding are representative of Louisiana.

“The percent of owners citing the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Problem increased and is now third on the list behind taxes and regulations,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist.

Business First Bank Moves to New Orleans

Business First Bank, the largest community bank headquartered in Baton Rouge, has opened its first loan production office in New Orleans.

“As Louisiana’s leading business-focused community bank, it is time for us to contribute actively to the renaissance under way in the New Orleans area,” said Jude Melville, president and chief executive officer of Business First Bank.

Lifelong New Orleans resident Christopher Keene has been appointed president of the bank’s New Orleans market. The new office is currently open and operating at 1 Clubhouse Drive, but the bank is in search of a more permanent location.

“As Louisiana’s leading business-focused community bank, it is time for us to contribute actively to the renaissance under way in the New Orleans area,” said Jude Melville, president and chief executive officer of Business First Bank.

East Baton Rouge Ranks Highest in Growth of Local Economy

New York financial technology company SmartAsset has released its four-year GDP growth ratings for Louisiana. The findings are as follows


Recent Openings

Ship Tech Services

This summer, Ship Tech Services — a startup that provides maritime, environmental and industrial cleaning services for ships, barges, tanks and other vessels throughout the Gulf Coast — opened for business in St. Bernard. The company immediately added 15 jobs to the local economy and has the potential to add 10 more within a year. Offices are located at 8328 Lafitte Court in Chalmette.

“We appreciate the efforts put forth by St. Bernard Economic Development and LED to help us leverage an incentive package for our company to make a significant investment in the Parish and state,” said Ship Tech Services Managing Member Michael J. Faulk.


GLO Airlines

New Orleans-based GLO airlines launches this month with daily, non-stop flights from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to Little Rock, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee and Shreveport, Louisiana.

The airline — founded by local entrepreneur Trey Fayard — is geared toward business travelers and operates a 30-passenger Saab 340B aircraft. Current promotional flights start at $163.


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