Propeller, New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, ThriveNOLA, New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) and The Collaborative have compiled a working list of local BIPOC (Black, indigenous, people of color) contractors in response to recovery needs post-Hurricane Ida.
The comprehensive list derives from lessons learned over a decade ago from Hurricane Katrina, in which Black-owned companies only received 1.5% of contracts in storm recovery work, despite over $100 billion in property damage largely due to catastrophic flooding. In contrast, large non-local and non-Black contractors were afforded the opportunity to lead recovery efforts.
This fueled the organizations’ collective desire to combat this inequity following Hurricane Ida by locating, gathering, and promoting BIPOC small business contractors in the Greater New Orleans area and connecting them with individuals, homeowners, organizations and corporations also aiming to prioritize BIPOC-owned businesses.
“As residents and businesses are looking to rebuild or even ‘build back better,’ many have been looking for BIPOC contractors because New Orleanians are increasingly aware of the importance of everyone’s participation if we hope to see equitable recovery,” says Adele London, Director of Community Economic Development at Propeller.
Contributing to this equitable recovery is Chester Williams of Chester Electric, who is eager to provide services to his community. “I’m glad to be on the list and glad to be able to help people recover from damages from Hurricane Ida. I haven’t done a single Ida-related job yet. Being on this list will definitely help,” Williams says. “I’m happy to have such a special relationship with Propeller that has helped me to further grow my business and to support people.”
This collaborative effort elevates the profiles of local BIPOC contractors not only in storm recovery, but for all local construction, electrical, equipment, and plumbing needs. “The New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce is proud to collaborate with Propeller, The Collaborative, Thrive New Orleans, and New Orleans Business Alliance to create a collateral piece to feature BIPOC contractors for hurricane recovery. Our mission is to educate, support and promote Black businesses in the New Orleans Metropolitan area. We believe in showcasing licensed contractors for construction, maintenance, electrician and others to provide services to residents impacted by Hurricane Ida. It’s an opportunity for the community to be aware that they exist. An equitable business is a strong business sector,” said LaVerne Toombs, former Executive Director of NORBCC.
For those seeking repairs for damages caused by Hurricane Ida, view the list of local BIPOC contractors at gopropeller.org/files/applications/list.pdf for more information.
For BIPOC-owned businesses who would like to join this list, please submit this form.
Propeller is a New Orleans-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that grows and supports entrepreneurs to tackle social and environmental disparities. Our vision is an inclusive and thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Orleans that responds to community needs and creates the conditions for an equitable future. GoPropeller.org
The mission of the New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce (NORBCC) is to support, promote and educate our members for sustainable growth and expansion. Also, to empower and sustain the African-American business community through entrepreneurship and economic activity in the greater New Orleans region and the global economy as a whole.
ThriveNOLA empowers people with a holistic network of resources and relationships as they work to change their lives, families and communities.
New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) is public-private partnership and the official economic development organization for the City of New Orleans. “Through inclusive and holistic economic development, all people of New Orleans are financially secure and prosperous through growth, opportunity and by eliminating economic disparity.”
The Collaborative is a group of small business owners who share a common purpose: the acquisition of economic parity and equity for all local, small and disadvantaged businesses in the city of New Orleans. We believe that access to business opportunities is vital to growing a stable and sustainable minority business class in New Orleans – a business class that in itself is vital to the stability and sustainability of the local economy at large. We are about creating a culture of wealth for communities of color.
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