Many of you have heard of “Stay Local”: a great initiative that enables you to find a multitude of goods and services close to home.

Stay Local isn’t just a local directory it is a database of all our local home grown businesses as well as a project of the Urban Conservancy which celebrates and protects our built environment and local economies. Behind all of this is David Baker and Dana Eness.

Here is a photo of Dana attempting to engage our Mayor…

C.Ray Nagin and Dana

Next week Dana will be presenting to the Council Economic Development Committee the new report just released by the Urban Conservancy

Thinking Outside the Box: UC Releases Economic Impact Report

This 2009 collaboration between The Urban Conservancy and Civic Economics shows that compared to leading chain competitors, local New Orleans retailers generate twice the annual sales, recirculate revenues within the local economy at twice the rate, and on a per square foot basis, have four times the economic impact while consuming a fraction of the land.

The entire report can be downloaded “here”: at the U.C. site. And if you are looking around the site you may also notice that I am on the Board, so I know from the inside how hard they work on making sure New Orleans continues to foster and promote it’s local businesses.

I really became aware of how important locally owned businesses were during Hurricane Gustave, within 2 days Roberts Supermarket was back up and running with limited staff and the owner himself, Marc Robert stocking shelves, meanwhile the Walgreens next door stayed shut for about 10 days, because most of the staff were bused out of the City during evacuation. Local businesses are more sustainable and more likely to stay open even in an economic downturn.

So please think about coming on out to the Urban Conservancy Fundraiser on Oct 21, we will be there and “we hope you will be too”:

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...