New Orleans Small Business Rising from the Ruins

As proposals for big-box retail projects mount in New Orleans, many small business owners who are returning to the city worry about the coming competition. A documentary is currently being filmed about the recovering city's business atmosphere.

New Orleans is a city of unique culture and fierce loyalties to the local. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, locally-owned businesses led the return to neighborhoods throughout the city, joining residents in the expensive and risky rebuilding effort. Chain stores and restaurants, meanwhile, remain boarded up nearly three years later, counting rooftops and awaiting municipal subsidies.

Dana Eness, Executive Director of the Urban Conservancy, finds in the filming cause for both hope and concern.

"Hanson Hosein and his assistants have been touring the city with their cameras to find out how a wide variety of mom-and-pop businesses are faring in post-Katrina New Orleans. See a three-minute in-production preview on Hosein's Independent America Web log:"

"The clip includes comments from Edward Blakely of the city's Office of Recovery Development and Administration as he bicycles with Hosein through a Katrina-damaged neighborhood."

"Blakely tells Hosein that 'the pressure from the ordinary citizens' is to bring more big-box stores. Blakely concedes that big boxes may 'put these . . . little guys out of business,' but he insists that citizens he is hearing from say they're focused on their own rebuilding efforts and 'can't think about that guy's business.'"

Thanks to Dan Houston

Full Story:


Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.