Local business leaders gather at Tulane to discuss collaborative growth

Tulane hosted the 32nd annual Tulane Business Forum on Friday, September 30th. This article, originally published in the New Wave, covers highlights of the event. 

This year’s Tulane Business Forum focused on growth through innovation and collaboration, and according to a panel of economic development officials, that theme is nowhere more apparent than in the city’s remarkable improvement in national business rankings — everything from top city for IT job growth to best city for attracting people under 25 with college degrees.

Leslie Jacobs, left, talks about economic development at the Tulane Business Forum, with panel members Michael Hecht, Rodrick Miller and Chris Stelly. (Photos by Cheryl Gerber)

“These impressive rankings did not happen by accident,” said Leslie Jacobs, chair of Greater New Orleans Inc. and moderator of the panel. “There is an alignment at the state, regional and local level that is unprecedented.”

At the 32nd annual forum on Friday (Sept. 30), Jacobs discussed the results of that unprecedented alignment with panelists Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO Inc.; Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance; and Chris Stelly, executive director, Louisiana Entertainment.

Hecht cited initiatives championed by his organization in collaboration with other agencies that have helped to improve the city’s business climate. Those incentives include elimination of capital gains tax on the sale of a business, incentives for digital media companies, angel investor tax credits, a tax incentive for creating well-paying jobs and even social developments such as educational reform.

Read the rest of the New Wave article here.