While most people in the Crescent City grumble – both at home and “abroad” – that New Orleans, Louisiana is “just” a tourist attraction with no real business growth or potential, a recent audit by Forbes Magazine begs to differ with our sometimes disgruntled residents. True, New Orleans is the only place where you can show a little or a lot of skin on one very particular street in the city regardless of what time of year you happen to be visiting. The dedicated law enforcement officials of the NOPD did not earn their crowd control skills by watching DVD’s and holding weekly or monthly exercises. We are the top city in the world for handling enormous amounts of, it has to be said, unruly tourists.
However, quietly growing in the background of all of this chaos has been a sector of up and coming professionals who do more than drink
copious amounts of alcohol and spend time on the afore-named street. This sector of the Greater New Orleans area has earned a reputation for being one of the top growing entrepreneurial sectors in the United States. Throughout each year, numerous conferences and seminars are held to attract new small business and entrepreneurs both on the northshore and southshore.
This quiet growth is now being recognized by Forbes Magazine. Recently, the magazine / website did an article declaring that New Orleans, Louisiana has had a 28% job growth in the information technology business which includes companies that create software, handle data processing, video game developing and programming, and film production. What is phenomenal is that New Orleans placed 3rd behind San Jose, CA (Silicon Valley) and San Francisco, CA. To understand this momentous recognition, the other players on the list after New Orleans were Boston, Atlanta, and Detroit. The city is so well-known for its entrepreneurial and information technology spirit that GE (General Electric) is moving its technology center to the Central Business District in New Orleans, bringing with it 3,000 new information technology jobs.
One factor that has greatly contributed to this unprecedented growth for the City of New Orleans is that this part of the country seemed to be one of the last cities to experience the Recession and one of the first cities to bounce back from it. Business is so good in the Crescent City that real estate that is going on the market in the Garden District and now Uptown are selling within less than 24 hours because the demand for “affordable” and safe housing in the city of New Orleans is up due to new businesses opening up in the city and people relocating to the city for business.
Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has started to quietly emerge as a contender for economics, real estate, new technology jobs, and film industry production. With the designation Hollywood of the South, this city is starting to establish itself in the world market. Perhaps in the future, it will be much more than just a tourist attraction.