economic development

Ted Jackson /

City officials and developers have big plans for Tulane Avenue. The rough patch of old Airline Highway will hold two new hospitals, and a planned biomedical corridor. It’s slated to have fewer lanes of traffic and new landscaping, too. But, change is slow. Some residents and business owners who have invested in the neighborhood feel let down by the seedy motels and high crime that persist on Tulane Avenue.

State plans to shut down the low-cost bus from Baton Rouge to New Orleans may harm economic ties between the cities.

According to a survey released Wednesday by The Center for Planning Excellence, more than half of LA Swift riders use the service to get to and from work.

multisanti / Flickr

This week the city unveiled a public-private venture to grow the local economy, called Prosperity NOLA. Rod Miller is CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, and Aimee Quirk is Economic Development Advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Both sat down with WWNO’s Eve Troeh to talk about the goal: to make New Orleans a more attractive place for specific types of business, in the next five years.

Aimee Quirk described how the plan developed, with more than 200 business, government, nonprofit and higher education leaders.

The former head of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, Kurt Foreman, is keeping a close eye on the rebuilding process in tornado-ravaged Moore, Okla., as executive vice president of economic development at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. His chamber represents 5,400 companies, Foreman said, and now the focus is on helping the ones in Moore.

The Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance has hired a regional food systems planner to create a marketplace that encourages the buying and selling of local produce in the alliance’s 10-parish region. John Cotton Dean is beginning to map out his new job. He started last month. He says it’s very forward thinking that the grant-funded job is housed within an economic development agency.

The New Orleans Business Alliance is receiving a $1 million Economic Development Administration grant to help fund the development and implementation of a strategic plan to boost business and job growth in the city.

The grant was announced Monday by acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank.

The Advocate reports the grant will be used by the Alliance to identify ways to support existing businesses and attract new ones to the region and to develop a strategic five-year economic development plan for the city of New Orleans.

Ameritas Technologies says it will open an information technology center in Baton Rouge creating 300 jobs.

The startup company's CEO, Brian Keene, said Tuesday that Ameritas will receive a state economic development grant of $125,000 per year over a 10-year period to offset leasing costs at the Chase Tower in the downtown area.

Gov. Bobby Jindal says Ameritas will start hiring in September and open by October. He says the company expects to reach the 300 mark on staffing by 2016.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana officials and business leaders plan to start a three-day conference tomorrow in New Orleans with their counterparts from Guatemala. The Times-Picayune reports that they hope to make relations with Latin America a top policy priority and to strengthen trade and economic ties between the two regions.