Two New Orleans-based nonprofits that support entrepreneurs were among four recipients of nearly $2.1 million in federal grants announced Thursday.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine discussed the funding in New Orleans to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Through the awards, the Idea Village will receive $400,000 to provide technical know-how to local businesses through seminars, targeted business assistance and facilitating entrepreneurs’ access to capital investment.
Propeller, which helps launch business ventures that focus on the city’s pressing issues, will receive $300,000 to offer businesses that are addressing coastal and urban water issues more opportunities for consulting, monitoring and other resources. The nonprofit also plans to hold about a dozen events to connect similar water-focused businesses with key stakeholders and reach out to related firms and industry groups to help the businesses continue to grow.
“A decade ago, our neighbors were told that they should not rebuild due to the magnitude of destruction,” Propeller Executive Director Andrea Chen said in a statement. “We have come back since the storm, but we aren’t confusing progress with success. As we look ahead to the next decade, there is much more work to do.”
Elsewhere across the region, nearly $1.2 million is being funneled to the Capital Region Planning Commission to create a new, regional disaster response center that also will serve as a place for coastal planning districts that require an emergency shelter and assistance.
And St. John the Baptist Parish will receive $250,000 to develop a plan and marketing study to consider the potential of building a new container terminal at the Port of South Louisiana, which is already near its capacity. A container terminal would bolster the amount of cargo that could pass through the port and potentially increase the region’s exports.