On Monday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell unveiled the “new and improved” $5 million BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund, which will provide critical access to capital for disadvantaged businesses in order to help them participate in public infrastructure projects.
When introducing the fund, Mayor Cantrell cited a recent disparity study which found that although minority-owned businesses make up 40 percent of the businesses in the city, they are given only two percent of the city’s contracts. “Clearly a disparity. No one can argue that,” the Mayor stated.
“But in not arguing about it, we had to dig a little deeper in ourselves to see how we were going to meet this need, and touch our people again where the need was the greatest.”
While the BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund has focused on larger New Orleans businesses in the past, this time, Mayor Cantrell says that the fund will be focusing on smaller, minority-owned businesses, giving them the opportunity and the capital that they need to be successful.
“This is again, a step in the right direction.”
Partnering with the city on this initiative are Newcorp Inc., the New Orleans Business Alliance, Liberty Bank, the Kresge Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, the Foundation for Louisiana, Living Cities, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
View the full press conference below:
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