Mayor Mitch Landrieu last week announced that New Orleans has joined Los Angeles and New York City as one of three recipients of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, aimed at developing small businesses and creating jobs in the selected cities. He was joined at the announcement by members of the City Council and other city leaders, who along with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu joined him at a celebration later at the home of James Carville and Mary Matalin, who helped lobby Goldman Sachs for the grant on behalf of New Orleans. Under the program, Goldman Sachs will offer $20 million in loans for small business development and also will offer business education opportunities.
Landrieu said he anticipates seeing a "relentless pursuit of jobs" in the next 12 months. "We are the most immediate lab for innovation and transformation taking place in America," he said. "We're now being recognized nationally for that."
The Wall Street giant is partnering in the venture with Delgado Community College, which will develop curriculum for small business owners to help take their businesses "to the next level," said Delgado chancellor Ron Wright. The curriculum will cover money management, marketing, writing business plans and other "baseline skills," he said. Business owners can find more information at www.ecd.org/sb/index.htm. Classes are slated to begin in February.
Dina Powell, Goldman Sachs global head of corporate engagement (and former assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs under President George W. Bush), said the firm understands the city's need for "long-haul" investors and increased access to capital.
The Urban League of Greater New Orleans will help identify businesses for the program, and Hope Credit Union will manage Goldman Sachs' local fund. "Entrepreneurs in this city just won the Super Bowl," said Hope CEO Bill Bynum. "We found many entrepreneurs in this city just need increased access to capital. ... It was a godsend when Goldman knocked on our door."
Landrieu will host a business summit in preparation for the program ("People of New Orleans ... Rebuilding New Orleans") at the New Orleans Marriott from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, to discuss economic opportunities for local businesses. Call the Urban League at 620-2332 to register. — Alex Woodward