Architects look at post-Katrina changes in city’s built environment _lowres

Photo courtesy of Eskew+Dumez+Ripple -- The BioInnovation Center on Canal Street, one of the buildings included in the AIA exhibit, won an "AIA COTE Award - Committee On The Environment" honor, given to top examples of sustainable and ecological design.'

Three New Orleans-based nonprofits will split $500,000 in grants from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to support programs promoting small business growth, the bank said Friday.

The largest award recipient is the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, which is receiving $250,000. Propeller, a business incubator that focuses on ventures planning to tackle pressing issues facing New Orleans, and the New Orleans Business Alliance will each receive $125,000 from the bank.

The BioInnovation Center, a technology business incubator, plans to use the money to bolster its programming, including its annual summits, which serve as a platform for sharing best practices and helping entrepreneurs network, and to support its collaborative partnerships with Xavier University and Delgado Community College. The money also will help provide resources for the center to provide assistance for women and minority-owned businesses, according to the bank.

Propeller will use its money to help engage entrepreneurs focused on issues involving water management.

The New Orleans Business Alliance, a public-private partnership for economic development, will use the money to help small businesses with procurement and subcontracting in the health care, construction and hospitality sectors.

“Every business begins as a small business. Through this support, NOLABA can help launch the next great American company that affords more of our friends and neighbors with the possibility of achieving greater economic security," said the group's president and CEO, Quentin Messer Jr.

The money is being distributed as part of Chase's Small Business Forward program, a $75 million effort to help promote opportunities for women, minority and veteran-owned small businesses.

“The biggest business in America is small business. Small businesses in our city have the potential to reduce unemployment and expand opportunity for all,” said Lizette Terral, head of commercial banking for Chase in New Orleans. “Despite their vital importance, small businesses need help to participate fully in New Orleans’ rebirth.”