Among the many
organizations and individuals working to rebuild, restore and
reposition New Orleans East,
Fast Forward Main Street,
a private national non-profit organization, has also been brought on
board to provide technical assistance for small businesses located
within Districts 9, 10, and 11. As one of four selected
project cities, New Orleans met the criteria as a distressed
community due to the disaster of hurricane Katrina. With that, a
small business support initiative was launched providing one-on-one
coaching and group
workshops aimed at improving business performance
and net profits. In the process an advisory committee
comprised of civic and business leaders was created to support the
initiative and enhance the overall business environment within the
community. The advisory committee also guides 'working groups'
that have formed and identified four specific goals to be obtained
within the two-year time frame.
Those goals of the working groups are:
Reduce abandoned and unsightly lots and
vacant commercial properties by September
2012. Team Members are Sylvia Scineaux-Richard
(Chair), Corinne Ducre, John Filostrat,
Tremekia Jones, Ed Washington, Greg Hamilton
and Barbara Johnson.
Attract three big box retailers by September
2011. Team members are Gary Silbert (Chair),
Greg Rigamer, Troy Henry, Igwe Udeh, Cynthia
Beaulieu, Andrea West, Wiley Barrett, and
Create a partnership of technical colleges
and others to provide training for New
Orleans East businesses by December 2010.
Team members are Robin Barnes (Chair),
Carmen Sunda, Jason Burns, Mary Anne
Schmidt, and Nakisha Knott.
Develop and implement a branding and
marketing campaign that promotes New Orleans
East as a great place to live, work and play
by September 2012. Team members are Cliff
Robinson (Chair), Bryan Trosclair, Barry
Keegan, Bruce Brailsford, and Lisa Stafford.
Each of the working
groups are generating outputs and initiatives, individually and
collectively to further the goals of the committee. Most
importantly, the process has solicited and obtained participants not
only from within the New Orleans East area, but from across the city
as a whole. This broad base expertise, focused on the
revitalization of a community, is creating an important 'think tank'
and a model worthy of duplicating.
Interested in this project? Let us know -