Developing strategies to grow New Orleans’ economic base does not mean starting at square one. There is already a strong foundation of organizational capacity and resources on which to build. What is lacking, however, is communication, coordination, and alignment among industry, government, and the various organizations and institutions that support economic development within the City and throughout the region and State. The immediate challenge for New Orleans is to develop an organizational structure for economic development that brings key stakeholders together and creates a strategic framework for action, and one that can work more effectively with regional and state economic development entities. In an environment of increasingly scarce resources, it is essential to develop consensus around which actions will have the greatest impacts and to align efforts toward successfully implementing those actions. While generating additional resources will be critical, New Orleans will be more successful in doing so if all key economic development stakeholders are engaged, committed, and unified. Creation of an effective public-private economic development partnership is the critical first step in developing this economic- development consensus. The NOLABA will then play the central role in coordinating initiatives undertaken by the full range of city, regional, state and other agencies focused on economic development.

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