Reports and Advocacy


StayLocal partners with our parent organization, the Urban Conservancy, to research and publish reports on place-based economics. Check out some of our most impactful pieces of work below!

StayLocal Reports

New Orleans Independent Business Trends (2014 - 2018)

The success of the independent business community is vital for New Orleans’ economic future, as well as its sense of community, character and place. This annual report gives a snapshot of how our independents are faring, and arms us with insight on how best to foster a thriving independent business sector.

2014 Report | 2015 Report | 2016 Report | 2017 Report | 2018 Report

"Policy As Told By Pizza" - 2017 Report Summary

Techniques Local Businesses Use to Sell Online (2019)

When faced with the dominance of giant online retailers, New Orleans business owners have adapted their online marketing while retaining their local customer base. Learn more when you watch this broadcast of the panel discussion hosted by StayLocal on April 16, 2019 and moderated by Lynnette White-Colin, vice president of Small Business Development at New Orleans Business Alliance.

Magazine Street Report (2014)

Throughout 2013, StayLocal received reports from member businesses along Magazine Street about a tide of unaffordable rent increases occurring along the corridor, coinciding with an increased interest in Magazine Street from national chains. In response to these reports, StayLocal surveyed Magazine Street independent business owners to assess the pervasiveness of this trend.

Thinking Outside the Box (2009) 

This study was undertaken to provide the people and policy makers of New Orleans with tangible economic guidance in choosing between strategies to restore commercial services to the entire city.


Business Summit Report (2007)

On January 12 and 13, 2007 StayLocal hosted a Business Recovery Summit to bring together local businesses and advocacy organizations to stimulate new dialogue and develop a foundation for new partnerships to catalyze business recovery in New Orleans. This report is a summary of our findings.


Independent Business Survey (2019)

The ILSR (Institute for Local Self-Reliance) has just published the results of its Independent Business Survey conducted in May of 2019. The resulting report details the struggles faced by American independent businesses such as rising commercial rents, climbing health insurance costs and the monopolization of retail by Amazon. Surveys collected from owners of New Orleans businesses which participated are included; read the full report here. See what local to GNO business owners’ advise about e-commerce from the local perspective here.

PrimeNumbers: Amazon and American Communities (2019)

This report published by Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association draws from the most recent data to analyze the negative impact Amazon’s sales have on community economies, from farm towns to mid-sized cities and exurbs. This timely information is essential to quantifying Amazon’s effects on sales tax revenues, employment rates, and commercial real estate values, and includes new insight on the different ways the retail giant manages Amazon Marketplace.

Report: How Amazon’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities (2016)

Amazon captures nearly one in every two dollars that Americans spend online. But Amazon is far more than a big, aggressive retailer. This report by The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), a national nonprofit research and educational organization, aims to pull back Amazon’s cloak of invisibility. It presents new data; draws on interviews with dozens of manufacturers, retailers, and others; and synthesizes a broad body of previous reporting and scholarship.


The Power of Local: 3 Reasons to Rethink Your Amazon Account (2017)

It seems like you can buy anything online these days, but there are some things Amazon cannot deliver. Independent businesses beat Amazon in job creation, economic impact, and diversity.  “Shop Local” is a common phrase, but few grasp small businesses' massive on our economy.  Get the facts about the power of local, and learn why independent businesses are crucial to our community’s success. See the presentation or skim the fact sheet.



We advocate for a level playing field to resolve sales tax discrepancies between brick & mortar retailers and out of state online sellers that hinder local businesses’ ability to compete and grow their business.


Invest Local

We work with local and national experts to open opportunities for individuals to invest in local businesses they know and trust as well as allow local businesses to raise funds from their local community.


How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It (2016)

ILSR’s new report examines how high rents are shuttering businesses and stunting entrepreneurship, and explores 6 strategies that cities are using to create an affordable spaces where local businesses can thrive.


Shift to Small Challenge

From pharmacies to groceries, we challenge New Orleanians to shift their shopping from national retailers to local businesses! The Shift to Small Challenge is an opportunity to think about where we spend our dollars and the impact that has on our community.



StayLocal's annual summer SourceNOLA campaign encourages businesses to pledge to switch at least one aspect of their operations over to a local service provider. Our goal is to raise the profile of our local service providers and link businesses with the local resources they need to grow. 


Small Business Saturday

Every November year we celebrate Small Business Saturday- a national shopping holiday after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday that encourages consumers to shop local. See our 2018 Shop Small Second Line Celebration here. 


ShopNOLA for the Holidays

The goal of ShopNOLA for the Holidays is to have New Orleans residents do 10% of their shopping locally during the gifting season. We publish an annual list of events, discounts, and other festivities that make local gift shopping easy.


10 Years Out (2015)

We recognize the local businesses that were crucial to the recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, highlight their resilience and advocate for the importance of business disruptor preparedness.


New Orleans and Dollar Stores

New Orleans is grappling with the proliferation of dollar stores in its neighborhoods. Consumers are facing limited selection outside of the products dollar stores offer and are offered less diverse merchandise where dollar stores are the sole option for non-prepared food purchases and where many local shoppers rely exclusively on public transportation.

New Orleans City Council took up the matter at the urging of Councilmember Cindy Nguyen (District E) and Councilmember Kristen Palmer (District C), whose districts are host to almost half of the city’s 36 dollar stores (see map below). City planners studied the issue extensively in 2018—including interviewing community leaders in Tulsa, OK and Kansas City, KS as well as grocers currently operating in New Orleans—ultimately making recommendations and suggesting initiatives contained in the 2018 "Small Box Retail Diversity Study".

StayLocal strongly supports the recommendations made by City Planning and adopted by City Council in October 2019, which are the right steps after finding that the proliferation of dollar stores is deterring full-line grocers from opening in some neighborhoods, and preventing existing corner stores from fully thriving.

The proposed two-mile buffer between dollar stores in New Orleans East, Algiers, and Gentilly, and a one-mile buffer in the rest of the city, as well as allowing grocers to have more floor space if they commit to locating in areas with low food access are sensible policies that level the playing field for independent business owners offering neighborhood conveniences as well as fresh food.

Additional Reading

Dollar Store Impacts Fact Sheet compiled by our colleagues at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance which has been covering dollar stores and their impact nationwide, including mapping the rise of dollar stores in March, 2019 article.

City Planning Commission approves restrictions on New Orleans dollar stores, completes work to amend ordinances applicable to Small Box Retail Diversity; read updates here, here and here.

Community groups were consulted on the recommendations with a potential impact on New Orleans East as they were being drafted.

A “listening post” on the issue surveyed residents about the rapid increase in the number of dollar stores as long ago as 2014.

Of the 36 dollar stores

found in New Orleans when planners began to consider imposing distance limits between new stores, more than half were located in Districts C and E combined—9 in District C and 11 in District E.