February 27, 2024 | From City of New Orleans


NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today announced new resources available for entrepreneurs through a partnership with El Centro, a New Orleans-based non-profit fostering the economic mobility of Latinos in South Louisiana by providing culturally competent business and financial coaching in Spanish. These resources include video and text tutorials on how to obtain occupational and sales tax licenses.

"Our collaboration with El Centro is about meeting our entrepreneurs where they are and providing them with the tools necessary to create generational wealth,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It is my hope that the resources shared today represent a first step in our ongoing partnership to remain an inclusive and welcoming city and to reduce barriers faced by entrepreneurs. New Orleans continues to thrive because of our very diverse population and the contributions of our Hispanic community, and my administration is proud to work with such great partners to help uplift all ethnicities interested in entrepreneurship and economic mobility.”   

“Bringing Latino entrepreneurs into the formal economy through accessible tools promotes economic mobility,expands the tax base and creates jobs and wealth for New Orleanians,” said Director of Economic Development Jeffrey Schwartz. “We are grateful to the National League of Cities and El Centro for their partnership in responding thoughtfully to a need within our entrepreneurial ecosystem.” 

The City and El Centro made a commitment to support Hispanic entrepreneurs through The National League of Cities’ Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) program and worked to identify institutional and programmatic barriers faced by Hispanic entrepreneurs wanting to start businesses in New Orleans. This collaboration led to the creation of a Spanish language-accessible video and one-pager that outlines the occupational and sales tax license process in New Orleans. 

“The National League of Cities takes immense pride in recognizing El Centro's pivotal role in fostering economic growth and inclusion by generating resources that help Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs better navigate the process of obtaining occupational licenses in the City of New Orleans,” said National League of Cities Program Director Corianne Rice. 

“We are proud to play a part in ensuring Latino entrepreneurs who are hard-pressed to build wealth in this country can do so through business ownership; the language-accessible resources we created are a vital tool to achieving that goal,” said El Centro Founder and Executive Director Lindsey Navarro. 

El Centro worked with the Office of Economic Development to cross-train its team of business coaches, providing hands-on support in Spanish to aspiring business owners throughout the occupational license application process. In addition, El Centro created a video and one-page tutorial that provide a step-by-step explanation of how to apply for and obtain an occupational and sales tax license in New Orleans. El Centro worked with Prospera, the CIE program’s Latino business consultants. 

“We had the opportunity to work with El Centro and Lindsey Navarro as National League of Cities CIE program experts, identifying solutions and opportunities for local Latino entrepreneurs,” said Prospera President/CEO Augusto Sanabria. “We are excited about the enhanced collaboration between El Centro and the City of New Orleans, which is yielding positive results and new tools that will facilitate the establishment and operation of Latino-owned businesses in their city.” 

The Hispanic population in Greater New Orleans has doubled in the past 10 years, but access to resources and advice on starting a business in Spanish is limited. Business ownership is a key tool for creating financial wealth and stability for business owners, their families and the community they serve. Addressing the needs of the Hispanic community, which opens businesses at 15 times the national average, is critical and will have a positive impact on our local and regional economy. 

The video is available on El Centro’s YouTube Channel, the City’s Occupational License webpage and the City’s Occupational License Guide. The one-pager on how to apply for an occupational license with City of New Orleans is available on El Centro's Online Resource Library


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