OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant. Each week Peter invites guests from the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the USA to be an entrepreneur. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the new New Orleans entrepreneurial movement. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.
Photo by Rick Lineberger
New Orleans is rising from the debris of 2005 in ways that could never have been predicted, even by the most optimistic of prognosticators.
For the first few years of the post 2008 bounce-back recovery, New Orleanians were taken by surprise. Accustomed to reading stories of disasters about the city, from natural to man-made - crime, corruption, shrinking population, disastrous education - locals were unprepared for what to do with an onslaught of good news about populations growing, incomes rising, and businesses booming. And then along came organizations dedicated to optimizing the good news and making sure it didn't slip away.
Melissa Ehlinger is the Senior Vice President for Strategy and Business Development of the New Orleans Business Alliance. The Alliance’s goal is to make New Orleans an attractive place to do business. Given the reputation of where we’ve come from, that’s no easy task. To make the magic work, Melissa and NOLABA are using a mix of lifestyle and tax credits to lure businesses to the city - and Melissa tells Peter the magic is indeed working.
Jessica Shahein is Executive Director of 504ward, dedicated to getting people who have moved here, to stay here. Turning infatuation and love into long-term commitment is no easy task either, but Jessica tells Peter the new wave of Millenials is having kids and putting down roots.
On the Remember You Heard It Here First segment of the show Alex Goss introduces his new app, The Collector. You can hear a fuller conversation with Alex, Peter, Jessica, and Melissa about The Collector, here.