How Local Businesses can make New Orleans Great in 2021

By Jeff Thomas

For the last few years, I have written about how to make our city great in each upcoming year.  Those articles primarily focused on government policies. Fortunately, the New Orleans City Council implemented progressive laws in accordance. Some of the policies set forth are not jailing people for marijuana and creating more contracting opportunities.  Despite these steps, the snags of crime still occurred.

Progressive laws are like fishing but for quality-of-life advancements. If you’ve never fished then you don’t know the frustration of your line being snagged by an underwater impediment.  First you think you have a bite.  Then you realize not only no fish, but you may have lost your gear and bait.

Unseen forces can ruin your cast.  Progressive legislation’s goal is to improve our economy. More economic opportunities reduce poverty.  Poverty is the source of most crime. Chronic poverty leads to carjackings, window smashing, home burglaries and even drug murders.  Poverty starts in unemployment and poor education. Like casting a hook with a live shrimp, positive government policies hope for a good catch. 

Creating more opportunities is the proper role of local governments. Typically people with jobs who own homes do not commit violent crime.  Children who live in the homes of parents that own their homes normally do not commit violent crimes. A growing economy creates more jobs. Jobs should eliminate poverty. 

JOBS should lliminate poverty

That every politician’s website has a multipronged job creation platform is now trite. Yet the necessity of a successful jobs program is paramount to eliminating the poverty which creates the crime that plagues us. 

The Unseen Impediment – Local Business Must Step Up

But just like the fisherman who drops his line only to catch a snag, even the best jobs program can be derailed. If local businesses do not hire or do business with locals, then even the best jobs program is unsuccessful. Local businesses must participate.  Livable wages, job opportunities, local hiring, and solid benefits are required. Also, contracting and vendor creation are equally necessary.

Instead of being unseen barriers to economic growth, big local businesses must be advocates for local people and their small businesses.  They must overcome stale and untrue narratives.  Local people are qualified and able.  Our local people can do great work.  Local people deserve jobs and contracts. 

Lets help each other pull up fish and not cost each other economic opportunities and growth. Local businesses must step up.

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