Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) is the regional economic development organization serving the 10-parish region of Southeast Louisiana that includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes.
Our mission is to create a Greater New Orleans with a thriving economy, and an excellent quality of life, for everyone.
GNO Views - A Legacy of Rising to the Occasion
In the late 1930’s, Andrew Higgins was producing shallow-water boats to support oil and gas exploration in the bayous of Louisiana. Driven by the exigencies of World War II, Higgins transformed his factory in New Orleans East, and adapted his swamp boats into military landing craft. The “Higgins Boat,” with its innovative front ramp, changed the way the war was fought, and ultimately was key to the allied victory at Normandy on D-Day. The importance of the Higgins Boat was later summed up by President Eisenhower, who said, “Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us.” Thanks to the success of its boats, Higgins Industries also prospered, growing from 75 workers in 1938, to over 20,000 by 1943.
Given this history, it’s to be expected that companies in Greater New Orleans are similarly responding to the battle against coronavirus: quickly changing their products and services to meet the urgent needs of our times, while simultaneously helping their businesses remain viable and retain valuable employees.
We have breweries and distilleries that are now making hand sanitizer, and hot sauce companies that are bottling it. We have clothing manufacturers that have switched to sewing masks and gowns. We have 3-D printers who have developed prototypes for protective gear, which have subsequently been downloaded around the world.
And it is not just our businesses that have swiftly moved to war-footing. Our colleges and universities have jumped in as well, leveraging their on-campus capacity to engineer and manufacture needed equipment and parts, at the same time that they have pivoted to near-ubiquitous on-line learning for their students.
Collectively, these inventive and resilient organizations are accomplishing two important goals. First, they are helping to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus, by providing products to keep people safe. Second, they are developing alternative revenue streams, to help generate the cash needed to make it to the other side of the crisis.
In order to encourage and support these efforts, GNO, Inc. created “GNOpivot.” On the GNOpivot website, companies can register with their new product. Potential customers can quickly find the services they need. To-date, dozens of companies, from across Greater New Orleans, have signed up with their “pivot.”
We encourage all transforming companies to sign up and list their products.
We at Greater New Orleans, Inc. are proud of the way our community is responding to the coronavirus. But we can’t say we’re surprised. Greater New Orleans has a proven track-record of pivoting to meet crises head-on, that dates back to when Andrew Higgins made a landing-craft out of a pirogue, and saved the free world.