Thinking Outside the Box: A Report on Independent Merchants and the New Orleans Economy

A 2009 study by The Urban Conservancy in partnership with Civic Economics finds that shifting 10% of spending from chains to locally-owned businesses in New Orleans would create hundreds of new jobs and have the equivalent of injecting $60 Million annually in the form of recirculating currency.

The study concludes: "Magazine Street’s retailers provide a strong example of small businesses doing big things. This study shows that local retailers, when compared to leading chain competitors, generate twice the annual sales, recirculate revenue within the local economy at twice the rate, and, on a per square foot basis, have four times the economic impact. Investing in locally owned businesses is a cost-effective way to grow the New Orleans economy and is compatible with development patterns in existing commercial districts. The City can stimulate wealth creation and retention by developing a coordinated strategy that focuses on local business growth. Through incentives, risk mitigation, and improved service delivery from City Hall, we can maximize local businesses in new developments and redevelopment of commercial properties citywide."

Click here to read the entire study.