Last year, as part of an intentional and strategic response to meet the needs of small businesses within NOLABA’s impact neighborhoods (Gentilly, Treme, Algiers, New Orleans East, Lower 9, Hollygrove and Gert Town), NOLABA partnered with the City of New Orleans to launch the Resilient Corridor Initiative (RCI). These communities have experienced decades of disinvestment, leaving surrounding businesses more vulnerable to economic and environmental disasters, such as the current COIVID-19 pandemic. Through the pilot initiative NOLABA supported 40 small businesses within the impact neighborhoods with financial and technical support from a cadre of diverse experts and practitioners to help implement strategies to sustain their presence through this period of economic downturn and continue to be anchors for future economic growth within these strategic neighborhoods.
With the success of the pilot program, NOLABA is launching RCI Phase II with a focus on Food Production/Manufacturing, Technology, and Allied Health/Biosciences industries. The program is designed to help small businesses in the impact neighborhoods expand their business knowledge, develop growth/pivot strategies and provide technical assistance in multiple areas such as finance, marketing and more. Over the next 12-18 months, NOLABA will work with the selected small businesses in the following industries: Food Production/Manufacturing, Technology, and Allied Health/Biosciences to collaborate with a team of industry experts, mentors, investors, and peers who will help accelerate growth, increase sustainability, and build the tools and connections needed to implement growth strategies. Participants will have exclusive access to data tools, technology to support pivoting business models; outline cross-sector business collaboration to be able to enter new markets, real estate considerations/strategies to expand and scale businesses as well as participate in quarterly capacity-building webinars and networking events. Phase II will only provide customized direct professional services to the selected small businesses and leverage our partnership to provide selected businesses opportunities for access to capital to include grant support, investment, and loan opportunities.
The Application Portal opened on November 19, 2021 and can be found at www.nolaba.org/resilient-corridors. The deadline to apply is December 20th.