Booming in the Big Easy! Three Reasons to Start a Business in New Orleans

I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA). I fled for safety during Hurricane Katrina, and was back in the city 2 months later. After 14 years, I’ve seen the city be rebuilt from the ground up and have witnessed first-hand the entrepreneurial spirit revive. The millennial generation in New Orleans, a.k.a. ‘Katrina Babies’, are building businesses in every industry, creating opportunities for their peers, and setting an example for the next generation to succeed.  NOLA is slowly climbing up the scale for top places in the country for entrepreneurship (Entrepreneurship.com) and the world is taking notice.

Here are the 3 reasons why you should start a business or move your current business to New Orleans.

GROWING MARKET AFTER KATRINA

According to the U.S. Population Review, an estimated 369,000 people call New Orleans home. This isn’t quite 500,000 residents prior to Hurricane Katrina, but there’s only room to grow. Businesses are growing in every industry and need to compete with a digital media presence and branding. This growth increases the need for creative jobs such as graphic design, marketing, and coding.

Millennial-owned companies like GrowHaus Studio, a digital media lab, moved their its business from Brooklyn, NY to New Orleans in 2018 to support small and minority-owned businesses that often get overlooked in the competitive marketing environment. “The NYC market has gotten saturated over the years whereas there is a need for our services among local business in New Orleans,” said Jasmine Henderson, co-founder and creative director of GrowHaus Studio.

The state of Louisiana is also offering a 25 percent tax cut on qualified payroll for tech companies who move all or a percent of their company to the ‘The Boot State.’ (U.S. News).

LOW COST OF LIVING & RESOURCES

Affordable housing and low cost of living are driving millennial talent to the area, overlooking more expensive cities like New York City and Los Angeles. The average median house in New Orleans is worth $206K compared to $380K  in New York City (Forbes).

Consistent with the cost of living, the cost of doing business in New Orleans is cheap as well. Whether you want to open a tech company here or start a nonprofit, free resources like 504ward, The Idea Village and Camelback Ventures assist entrepreneurs and young professionals with everything from a business plan to funding.

UNMATCHED HISTORICAL CULTURE

The Big Easy’ is more than just it’s cheap drinks and Bourbon Street.

The culture of New Orleans surrounding the customs and practices of our African ancestors fulfills the soul, to say the least. The Mardi Gras Indians, VooDoo magic, and Creole culture provide a sense of inspiration that is unmatched in the United States. Not to mention, New Orleans has a festival for every ingredient found in a creole dish (Nola.com). The culture is so consuming, I’ve actually met people who decided to move after one trip to the city.

NEED MORE PROOF?

My family’s insurance agency is one of the first-black owned in the city. My sister and I have assumed the responsibility of taking into the digital age. only 12 percent of businesses make it to the third generation (Conway Center for Family Business). I am a product of generational wealth because of a business built in New Orleans and hope to continue this legacy for years to come.

Are you ready to pack up your business and start a business or move yours to NOLA yet?

To share your experience or more advice, message us hello@mogulmillennial.com. We might shout you out on our social media!

Written by Kayla Swanson

Kayla was born and raised in the Big Easy, where she currently works as the PR and digital media strategist for GrowHaus Studio. She also serves as the director of marketing for her family’s insurance agency Swanson Insurance Agency. Kayla and her sister are in the process of taking over the company in the next 5 years. Her hobbies include creating google documents for vacations and conferencing around the country. You can follow her journey via Instagram @kaylamswanson