Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Small Business in New Orleans

Have you been thinking about starting a small business in New Orleans?

In the great city of New Orleans, small businesses are the backbone of our economy. We rely on thousands of local, culturally diverse, and innovative businesses that draw millions of tourists to the city each year. Think about it: What is the foundation of all your favorite New Orleans events? Whether you are thinking about Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras, Southern Decadence, or Crawfish Fest, all these signature festivals rely on small businesses.

Canal HR can tell you some of the things you need to know when starting a small business in New Orleans.

starting a small business in new orleans

Starting a Small Business in New Orleans

If you’re not from here, the first thing you may think about when New Orleans comes to mind is probably Bourbon Street or Mardi Gras beads. However, there are many things that make New Orleans a particularly attractive place to start a small business.

The entrepreneurial community in New Orleans has been gaining momentum at an increasing capacity. With the help of organizations that have aided in entrepreneurial growth and burgeoning industries that are bringing new opportunities for startups, the city is full of possibilities for anyone who is interested in starting a business.

Here are four things you need to know about starting a small business in New Orleans:

1. Community, Diversity, and Inspiration

New Orleans has many popular and important cultural peculiarities that make this a perfect place for up-and-coming business owners with unique ideas. Architecture, art, jazz, history, food, and culture are pillars in the New Orleans community, providing endless entertainment and, even, inspiration. New Orleans and its residents have a unique entrepreneurial spirit. 

The community’s ambition has contributed to growth of New Orleans, from our passion for food and culture to the cleanup following of the BP oil spill. Resilience and adaptability have kept New Orleans going strong through economic recession, ecological disaster, and the complete disruption of life. 

The positive development of our city parallels the mindset of a savvy and creative entrepreneur. All the things that have fueled New Orleans into overcoming setbacks and barriers are also qualities needed for entrepreneurial success.

2. Tax Incentives

New Orleans wants small businesses! Investing in New Orleans is worth your while with competitive local, state, and federal tax incentives. These incentives offer more opportunities for small businesses to expand or relocate to Louisiana—New Orleans specifically. Supported industries are growing in the region and opening more opportunities for new businesses within those growing sectors.

Louisiana offers industries like Digital Media and Software some of the best tax credits of any state. This has recently been expanded to include the development of Consumer Software, Business and Enterprise Software, Web-Based Applications, Digital Media and Games, Interactive Devices and Consoles and Embedded Systems.

Because of tax incentives, a trained workforce, picturesque landscapes, and the development of new infrastructures and state of the art production facilities, Louisiana is now ranked #3 for film production behind only Georgia and New Mexico. The growth of film production and relocation of new software companies such as Gameloft to the region further support the growing industry

3. Low Cost of Living

An entrepreneur’s economic needs are met with a combination of a low cost of living and high quality of life (especially today when more and more businesses are being conducted remotely and not necessarily in large metropolises like New York City, Chicago, or Miami that are considered to be business hubs).

Living and office costs in New Orleans are more affordable when compared to the national average, giving you more bang for your buck and the affordability to live a better lifestyle than you would in most other large, urban cities.

Currently, New Orleans ranks 2% below the national average for cost of living, whereas New York City was 129% above average — a 127% difference in cost of living between two cities who had less than a 33% difference in median household income.

4. New Orleans Business Alliance

The growth of entrepreneurial activity has made an evident impact on the economic development of the city. As a result, more individuals and organizations are working to continue the consistent growth, as well as retain the young talent in the city. These organizations include collaborative workspaces, economic development agencies, and professional service providers all aiming to help expand locally-based businesses.

One organization leading the business movement in the city is the New Orleans Business Alliance. The NOLABA established the Small Business Growth Team to encourage anchor institutions along with larger corporate entities and public agencies to create quality opportunities for small business owners. They also give assistance to neighborhood businesses, particularly in low-income or distressed parts of New Orleans.

Let Canal HR Support Your Small Business in New Orleans

After you’ve set off starting a small business in New Orleans, Canal HR is here to help. We can cover all the paperwork and fuss related to payroll, employee benefits, and more, so that you can focus on helping your small business grow. Canal HR is a licensed professional employer organization, which means we partner with businesses to provide adequate insurance coverage, risk management training, workers’ compensation, and so much more.

If you’re looking for a trustworthy small business partner in New Orleans, contact us for a quote.