Small businesses play a vital role in stimulating the economy, bringing investment into disadvantaged communities, and helping women and minority business owners to become financially independent. While access to capital is a long‐standing problem, due to the recent recession there have been tighter restrictions nationally on lending criteria, reducing the access small businesses have to capital and services. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), as mission‐oriented organizations, help to fill these gaps and increase access to capital. In the six years, Southeast Louisiana has endured destructive hurricanes, a national economic downturn and the largest oil spill in US history. These community‐altering events have demanded resilience, innovation and, most certainly, access to capital and technical assistance. As small businesses bring jobs, access to goods and services, and tax revenue to the region, providing opportunity to start‐up, expand, and improve small businesses is vital to both the recovery and sustainability of the region. The University of New Orleans Department of Planning and Urban Studies (UNO‐PLUS), with assistance from Seedco Financial‐Louisiana (SF‐L) staff, has created this report to examine the small business lending and technical assistance landscape in the 10‐parish Greater New Orleans (GNO) region and identify opportunities for expansion and growth so SF‐L can advance their work in Southeast Louisiana.
Department of Planning and Urban Studies, University of New Orleans, "Greater New Orleans' Small Business Lending Landscape: Recommendations for Seedco Financial-Louisiana" (2011). Planning and Urban Studies Reports and Presentations. Paper 25.