Today: Apr 17, 2024

Tulane grades Nola startups resilient, urges swift state fund deployment.

4 months ago
  • Tulane University’s annual survey on New Orleans area startups and small businesses states they have weathered tough times well but are in need of more support to secure investment funding.
  • The report indicates global early-stage funding dropped sharply over the past year, impacting companies seeking $1 million or more in investment funds.
  • The survey shows that while the retail sector among small businesses faced a decline in revenue due to rising interest rates hampering consumer spending, transportation and infrastructure businesses experienced growth due to the $3.1 billion allocation from Louisiana’s 2021 infrastructure bill.
  • The Greater New Orleans Startup Report reveals the local hospitality industry to have demonstrated surprising strength, with gross revenue more than doubling from 2021 to 2022, and 70% of companies in this sector intending to hire more staff in the following year.

The annual survey of 116 businesses in the Greater New Orleans area by Tulane’s Albert R. Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation reported the business sector has felt the effects of inflation and rising interest rates in the past 18 months, with the average annual revenue of companies survey dropping to $1.65 million last year.

Furthermore, while the region has shown progress in launching startups and small businesses, Tulane Business School Professor Rob Lalka advises that it is equally critical to compare New Orleans’ progress to other regions, especially when competition for capital is fierce.

Lalka emphasised the importance of the State Small Business Credit Initiative’s $113 million funding, set aside to stimulate the Louisiana startup sector’s growth. But he also noted that complaints about the funds’ slow dispensation have surfaced, and has urged for a quicker release of the money that could further boost regional companies’ status against competitors.

According to Lalka,”Our startups and small businesses would absolutely benefit from those funds, if that capital did flow then more seeds would be nourished. It is going to be a challenge for us if we aren’t able to get this capital, as other states are getting this capital out across the Gulf South,”