The New Orleans City Council, headed by Council member at-large, Arnie Fielkow, brought the idea to the attention of the masses by authoring and council approving that according to Ordinance That Section 70-432.1 of Chapter 70 of the City Code is hereby ordained to read as The City of New Orleans establishes an overall goal of fifty percent (50%) utilization of businesses that are locally owned and controlled for all public spending or private projects that utilize public funding and/or incentives. An overall goal of thirty-five percent (35%) is established for utilization of socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, particularly of those businesses located in damaged areas. Individual project goals shall be established on a project-by-project basis and based on the availability of locally owned and disadvantaged businesses in the relevant market sector. 

“This new local business and DBE law will pay dividends to this community for years to come,” said Council President Fielkow. “But in order to have any effect, enforcement of the new law must have teeth. We must have not just passage of the law, but execution of the law.”

The primary purpose of the Small and Diversity Business Expo and Marketplace is to expose the available capacity here in the Region currently and to encourage the Mayor and City Council to have the information or business connectivity needed to uphold the ordinance and its’ goals. The other goal for the Business Expo is to allow businesses and organizations participating in the actual exposition to commit their business to being listed in the 3rd annual edition of the “Small Business and Diversity Report” magazine. The Report is a resource guide for businesses owned and operated by diverse members of the community who will benefit by being centrally located in a publication accessible to the local, state, and federal government, privately-owned businesses, political leaders, and especially residents of the local community. A model for the Expo is the “Black Expo” held in several major metropolitan cities throughout the country. These Expos afford small businesses owned by diverse members of the local community the opportunity and venue to display their products and services to the general public, large privately-owned businesses, federal government agencies, local politicians, as well as their constituents.

New Orleans is a city with a very diverse composition of business owners. Remembering that diversity includes African-American, Latino, Asian-American and Women-owned businesses, the Business Expo extends its reach to every citizen to participate and display their unique products, abilities, and services.


• Satellite media tours

• Public Outreach

• Church visits

• Public meetings

• Direct mail

• Internet advertising and communication

• Website development


• More than 30 Area Corporate Partners Supported Event through Corporate Giving

• More than 15 Business Council CEO’s attended the Corporate Speed dating Event

• More than 5 City Elected Officials attended the Business Match Making event and Seminars in Support of Small Business Initiatives

• More than 25 Vendors attended the Business Expo displaying their products and services

• More than 500 attendees at Expo and Jobs Fair

• Coordination of final small business database of over 650 Area Diverse Businesses.

Client Contact Information:

W. Anthony Patton Agency, LLC

W. Anthony Patton, MBA
201 St. Charles Avenue,
Suite 2500
New Orleans, La 70170

WAP was responsible for creating and producing the Small Business & Diversity Expo. Since 2005, the city of New Orleans has been described in two eras: “before the storm,” and “after the storm.” One of the greatest triumphs of New Orleans, before the storm, was that the small business community thrived; but after the storm, it was the small business community that was hurt the most. It was from this observation that the “Small Business & Diversity Business Expo” was created.


√ Self-Produced Initiative to Support Local & Small Business Contracting Initiatives with Primes & Government

√ Developed Single Largest City Wide Database of Minority Business Owners – Over 650

√ Successfully Fund Raised & Received Support from more than 30 Area Corporate Partners

√ More than 15 Business Council Presidents & Staff Supported the Match Making Service

√ Major Governance Challenge—Multiple Entities

√ More than 500 Small Business Attendees in Attendance.

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