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February 06 2013

Near Half-Million Dollar OCD Grant Extension Allows Operation HOPE to Continue Helping Local Businesses Develop


Louisiana Office of Community Development extends Operation HOPE grant in New Orleans to 2014
New Orleans – February 6, 2013 – Financial dignity nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) today announced a grant extension in the amount of $488,000 from the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) to continue its technical assistance services for local small businesses until January 2014. The funding will enable HOPE to keep offering underserved businesses throughout Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemine Parishes with individualized growth strategies.
This new wave of funding will allow HOPE to continue providing technical assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs of mixed income housing residences including the Blue Plate Artist Lofts, Musician’s Village, Bywater, Housing Authority of New Orleans and others. Business owners and entrepreneurs can receive one-on-one business coaching, computer literacy training, small business seminars, and training for preparing business plans, financial projections and marketing.
“The shadow of Hurricane Katrina is still upon us. A vast majority of local small businesses benefit greatly from our training. The current environment makes financial literacy, entrepreneurial coaching, and the knowledge of how to 'make your money work for you' essential to economic growth in the region,” says Oliver Bell, HOPE Chief Executive Officer, New Orleans. “We appreciate the Louisiana Office of Community Development for recognizing the good work we do for the residents of New Orleans and for extending the grant. These funds will help us help the people of New Orleans continue to recover and grow.”
Through the support of the OCD, the demand for HOPE services has resulted in expansion to include the Goodwill Industries facility and the Jefferson Parish libraries (West Bank and Napoleon Main Library). Plans are also in the works to offer the programs to the New Orleans East Library and the Main Library on Loyola. 
The goal of the Louisiana Office of Community Development is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Louisiana-- principally those of low and moderate income— through the implementation of sound management practices and the effective administration of the federal grant program. 
Operation HOPE arrived in the greater New Orleans area offering survivors financial recovery guidance and assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Since 2006, it has assisted more than 135,000 individuals and small businesses with small business coaching, homeowners’ recovery services, personal finance counseling, and BP Oil Spill claim applications.