GiveNOLA Day 2020 is June 2!

The seventh annual GiveNOLA Day, an initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), is on Tuesday, June 2 from 12:00 am to midnight. This is a 24-hour online giving event for the 13-parish Greater New Orleans region. “Now more than ever, our local nonprofits need your support,” said Greater New Orleans Foundation’s President and CEO Andy Kopplin. “COVID-19 has adversely impacted our region, let’s not let it impact our region’s giving spirit. “The challenges facing our families and neighbors during the COVID-19 crisis only magnifies the need for our nonprofit community to provide the critical resources our region depends on, and after this crisis ends, their work will be that much harder and even more important.”

GiveNOLA Day provides support for over 700 regional nonprofits in the 13-parish region (Orleans, Jefferson, St.

New Orleans-based company offers customer logging technology for local businesses

As the City of New Orleans moves into phase one of reopening, customer logging has been a suggested safety precaution, especially for high-traffic locales. IDScan.net, a local developer of identity verification and information gathering technologies, is now offering New Orleans companies a touchless solution for automatically logging customers. “Our solution helps businesses across industries protect their customers and their staff,” said Denis Petrov, CEO of IDScan.net, in a statement. “Our solution, which logs customers and gets them through the door as fast as possible, is particularly useful where there is high traffic.”

IDScan.net’s visitor management platform scans government-issued IDs and instantly pulls the individual’s name, address, and date of birth. It then creates a record for the individual in a database, along with the time and date of the visit.

PPE masks by Simply CBD

Simply Dispensary: From New Orleans wellness retailer to PPE supplier

As COVID-19 continues to impact the City of New Orleans, many small businesses have been forced to close altogether or adapt in ways they would never have imagined just a couple months ago. For Simply Dispensary, a local wellness products retailer with locations Uptown, in Mid-City, in the Marigny, and on the West Bank, that meant transitioning into a completely new industry in just a matter of weeks. 

Since the beginning of March, Simply Dispensary has harnessed its relationships with suppliers and manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad to provide much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and hard-to-find supplies—hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and 3-ply disposable face masks—to restaurants, convenience stores, and other businesses. “When it comes down to it, we are in the business of selling wellness products,” said co-owner and general manager Sean Partridge. “As this outbreak started affecting our city and the people we care about, and you can’t find the supplies you need to stay safe and well anywhere, we knew we had to start offering these products ourselves.” By mid-March, when the City of New Orleans announced the stay-at-home order, Simply Dispensary had already brought in inventory of hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and hand soap.

Yo Joe! How COVID-19 is affecting real estate transactions in NOLA

I’m Joe Gerrity, local businessman, investor, and Real Estate Broker. For my Yo Joe! column, I’ll be answering real estate questions and providing market information special to New Orleans during this pandemic. Buying or selling a home can be a daunting prospect as many are wondering what the market will look like, not just in the weeks and months ahead, but in the years to come. While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused a dramatic shift in daily lives, real estate transactions are still happening.

NOFS Home Theater streaming new independent film each week

With movie theaters out of commission, the New Orleans Film Society has created a way for enthusiasts to access select independent cinema from home while supporting the organization. The NOFS Home Theater is presenting a new title every week for a month, starting with “The Times of Bill Cunningham” on April 16 and ending with “Botero” on May 15. Each film will be available to stream for two weeks, and a portion of the proceeds from virtual tickets will help support NOFS. See all the featured titles and dates below:

The Times of Bill Cunningham
April 16-30
dir. Mark Bozek
Told in Bill Cunningham’s own words from a recently unearthed six-hour 1994 interview, the iconic street photographer and fashion historian chronicles his moonlighting as a milliner in France during the Korean War, his unique relationship with First Lady Jackie Kennedy, his four decades at The New York Times and his democratic view of fashion and society.

The students and instructors at Nicholls University hold many of their lessons in the Lanny D. Ledet Building funded by Benny Cenac of Houma.

Nicholls State University: Benny Cenac, Houma businessman, and the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute

The smell of sautéed shallots, butter browning, and sugar caramelizing hits your nose the moment you walk down the halls of Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, the only post-secondary institution in Louisiana offering a four-year culinary degree. Your mouth is watering before you even see the state-of-the-art kitchens donated by Arlen “Benny” Cenac—Houma businessman and owner of Cenac Marine, Main Iron Works, Houma Machine and Propeller, and Golden Ranch Farms. Back in 2015, as soon as Benny Cenac learned that construction of the school’s new culinary arts building might not move forward due to lack of funding, he knew he had to act fast. The school needed additional funding to receive the match from the state of Louisiana to complete the cooking school renovations. Benny, ever the Cajun food aficionado and proud Nicholls alum, recognized the cultural, historical, and economic impact the culinary program had on both the local university and in keeping South Louisiana culinary traditions alive. 

In 2015, Benny Cenac made a very generous donation in honor of his long-time employee and friend, Lanny D. Ledet, that led to the creation of a 33,000 square foot state-of-the art culinary facility, complete with six kitchens, lecture rooms, and a student study lounge. The Lanny D. Ledet Culinary Arts Building even features a full-size, 96-seat restaurant called Bistro Ruth, named in honor of New Orleans restaurateur Ruth Fertel.

City offers program for youth to learn civic leadership

via the City of New Orleans

The Mayor’s Neighborhood Engagement Office, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families, would like to invite you to participate in Junior Civic Leadership Academy (JCLA). This initiative from Mayor LaToya Cantrell is an engaging 8-week program that will provide youth with an in-depth look at city government. JCLA will meet virtually every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. starting June 6 through August 1 (excluding July 4). Enrollment opens today (April 27), and applications are available online. The program includes hands-on demonstrations and presentations that give participants an insider’s view of how the City of New Orleans operates.

Yo Joe! New Orleans real estate trends, advice for STR owners

I’m Joe Gerrity, local businessman, investor and Real Estate Broker. For my Yo Joe! column, I’ll be answering your real estate questions and providing market information special to New Orleans. New Orleans has seen an explosion in short-term rentals in recent years. In fact, an estimated 8,500 units were in operation until restrictions were passed in 2019.

We'll Be Right Back: New Orleans Hospitality

‘We’ll Be Right Back’: Pizza D owner shares thinking process for closing restaurant

“How are we having to make this choice between our employees’ livelihoods and their health?” Michael Friedman of Pizza Delicious asked as his management team made plans for the current health crisis. “How do we run a business at this time where there’s so many unknowns, where the health risk is so unknown, and make this happen so that our employees can continue to have jobs?” Friedman shared Pizza D’s story on the We’ll Be Right Back podcast this week.  The series features local business owners and employees in the service sector as they manage their way through COVID-19. “When to Shut Down” featuring
Michael Friedman of Pizza Delicious

In this episode, Friedman talks about the early weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak and his ultimate decision to (temporarily!) shutter Pizza Delicious.