StayLocal
1307 Oretha Castle Blvd. #309, New Orleans, Louisiana 70113

(504) 252-1259

Collecting, Remitting Online Sales Taxes is a Pro-Business Policy
As of January 1, 2017, new e-fairness legislation in Louisiana prompted online mega-retailers like Amazon to collect and remit state and local sales taxes to the proper authorities, just as brick-and-mortar businesses have always been required to do. 
 
Recently, WWL reported that Senator John Kennedy is unhappy about this new legislation citing that 1) the state should not charge consumers sales tax for online purchases, 2) the Louisiana Department of Revenue is not fairly enforcing the law, and 3) the law threatens to “kill the internet.” Kennedy’s comments not only contain several inaccuracies but also overlook how this policy supports Louisiana businesses by leveling the playing field and allowing them to compete fairly with online retailers. 
 
Kennedy states, “You’ve got to ask where this money’s coming from, and I can tell you where it’s coming from. It’s not falling from heaven, it’s coming out of taxpayers’ pockets.” His implication is that this represents a new tax; it is not. In theory, consumers were required to keep track of their online purchases and then pay the appropriate amount owed in sales tax as “use tax” on their state tax return. In practice, this “fair use tax law” was nearly unenforceable. Few online shoppers knew about the requirement and even fewer actually reported their purchases.  Estimates place the 2015 collection rate at less than 1 percent.
 
Kennedy also claims that “[the Louisiana Department of Revenue] ought to enforce the law if they think the money’s due.” This is a specious argument. In effect, Kennedy’s suggestion is a call to expand government oversight exponentially, rather than simply shifting the responsibility from the consumer to the seller, online mega-retailers, in fairness to brick-and-mortars. E-fairness legislation also solves the tax collection issue in a simple, logical way that frees both consumers and the Department of Revenue from regulating individual purchases.
 
Finally, Kennedy remarks, “If you give government the right to get money as a result of people’s interaction with the internet, government will never stop, and they’ll kill the internet sooner or later.” Here, Kennedy erroneously conflates equitable tax collection policy with government overreach and stifling the free market. In Orleans Parish, where sales taxes are 10 percent, companies like Amazon were granted, in effect, a nearly 10 percent price advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses. Acts 87 and 1129 create a fair marketplace, where Louisiana businesses are no longer at a competitive disadvantage and can thrive and grow to their full potential.
 
Kennedy’s negative comments are premised on a common misperception about e-fairness, and this is that it places an onerous burden on online retailers. The fact is, Amazon already collects sales taxes in 29 states; there's no reason it cannot do so in Louisiana, too. Further, until this legislation was enacted, Louisiana was leaving millions of dollars it was entitled to in Amazon’s hands. Collecting online sales tax will allow the state legislature to reduce Louisiana’s $600 million budget deficit, including the $304 million shortfall this fiscal year alone. Amazon and Empty Storefronts, a recent report by economic analysis firm Civic Economics, found that Amazon avoided $68.1 million in Louisiana sales tax in 2015. In the midst of a statewide budget crisis, equitably collecting sales tax from Amazon will significantly contribute to funding essential services such as infrastructure repair, economic development projects, and police and fire protection.
 
E-fairness legislation is not about demonizing online retailers as Kennedy states. It is a pro-business policy that ensures fair and equal taxation for both brick-and-mortar businesses and online mega-retailers. Louisiana based businesses can stay competitive on a national level and keep our state and local economies strong. After all, study upon study shows that local, independent businesses are the largest employers of our residents, they protect our local character, and they keep our hard earned dollars circulating among the individuals who work to support our communities’ well-being.
 
Kennedy describes collecting online sales tax as a “slippery slope.” I disagree. This legislation is a line in the sand signaling that we stand with our Louisiana businesses, statewide economic growth and job creation.
 
Abigail Sebton is the Policy and Research Coordinator for StayLocal, Greater New Orleans’ independent business alliance.  Learn more at staylocal.org.
 
Double Reward Points Tuesdays!
Did you know we offer frequent shopper cards for every purchase over $50?! Fill up your card and receive a $50 credit on your next purchase. PLUS earn DOUBLE the reward points when you shop on Tuesdays! It's our way of saying thank you for your loyalty. XO, Feet First LOCATIONS: UPTOWN 4122 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70115 FRENCH QUARTER 526 Royal Street New Orleans, LA 70130
Hotel Storyville Art Market Eddyfest
Spend a day in the gardens of Hotel Storyville at the Storyville Art Market Eddyfest. The market showcases local and regional artists selling original creations such as paintings, pottery, jewelry, glass, metal art, sculpture, photography, textiles, crafts and more. While you're browsing listen to music and enjoy delicious food. We're just blocks from the French Quarter so make a day of it!
Eat Local + StayLocal Restaurant Challenge
Eat Local NOLA is partnering with StayLocal for the 7th Annual New Orleans Eat Local Challenge!  The Eat Local Challenge is a 30-day advocacy campaign where New Orleanians are challenged to only eat foods grown, caught, or raised within a 200-mile radius. The goal of the challenge is to raise the awareness of the nutritional, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits of eating locally sourced foods.  As part of the campaign, Eat Local NOLA and StayLocal are hosting a Restaurant Challenge that encourages New Orleanians to dine at restaurants that support local food systems. Participating restaurants have prepared at least one dish made of local ingredients for Eat Local Challenge participants so they can dine out while staying true to the challenge.  The Eat Local Challenge participant who dines at the most participating Restaurants during the month of June will win a New Orleans Staycation: a one night stay at Hotel Storyville, plus a $200 gift certificate to a participating restaurant of their choice! Additional prizes awarded for 2nd and 3rd places. Rules: - Post a photo of your meal, tag @eatlocalnola, @staylocal, and the restaurant, and include #RestaurantChallengeNOLA - Or submissions can be made via email to elisa@eatlocalnola.org - Contest ends Thursday June 25th at midnight and submissions after that time will not be counted. More info on the challenge can be found at EatLocalNOLA.org.
Managing Your Business and Professional Brand on LinkedIn
StayLocal is partnering with Fidelity Bank to help you discover the power of LinkedIn! Grant Cooper with Strategic Resumes® will immerse you in the many uses of LinkedIn to elevate your professional stature and conduct targeted searches. Mr. Cooper is an expert on LinkedIn® and other social media networking techniques. He'll teach you how to ​achieve business goals, improve talent identification, hire new staff, develop strategic partnerships, and elevate your business outreach to improve funnels for consulting, referrals, and business opportunities. Strategic Resumes® is a longstanding StayLocal member and supporter. Details WHEN: Tuesday, May 23rd from 8:30 - 10:30am  WHERE: Fidelity Bank (1811 Metairie Avenue, Metairie, LA 70005) COST: StayLocal Members and Fidelity Team Members - FREE / General Admission - $15 Coffee and a light breakfast will be served. Reserve your spot!
Jane's Walk Along the Boulevard
In honor of Jane Jacobs, please join us for a FREE walking tour of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard highlighting the revitalization efforts of this historic Central City corridor. We will have a walking discussion about the evolution of the corridor from the influx of immigrants to the Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina and beyond. The event will highlight recent revitalization successes and how they respect the rich history which has molded this cultural corridor. The walk will take place on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, between Erato St. and Philip St. Meet at the New Orleans Jazz Market to start! RSVP: http://buff.ly/2q62f7l A collaboration between the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchant & Business Association (OCHBMBA), Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Concordia LLC, Clio Assoicates, LLC, StayLocal + the Urban Conservancy, Good Work Network and the Arts Council of New Orleans.
Citizen Jane Film Screening + Panel Discussion
Please join us for the opening-night screening of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, followed by a panel discussion with special guests (to be announced shortly) and moderator Melissa Lee (New Orleans Redevelopment Authority). After the screening and talk, register to experience a Jane’s Walk on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard on Saturday, May 20th, 2017. At 9:30am, meet at the New Orleans Jazz Market at 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd to learn about evolution of the corridor from the influx of immigrants to the Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina and beyond. FREE Registration Here: http://buff.ly/2qeYjQR ABOUT CITIZEN JANE: Citizen Jane is a timely tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power for the sake of a better world. Arguably no one did more to shape our understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and writer who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects. Director Matt Tyranuer (Valentino: The Last Emperor) vividly brings to life Jacobs’ 1960s showdown with ruthless construction kingpin Robert Moses over his plan to raze lower Manhattan to make way for a highway, a dramatic struggle over the very soul of the neighborhood. A collaboration between the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard Merchant & Business Association (OCHBMBA), Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Concordia LLC, Clio Assoicates, LLC, StayLocal + the Urban Conservancy, Good Work Network and the Arts Council of New Orleans
GiveNOLA Day!
StayLocal and our founding organization Urban Conservancy (UC) work together to catalyze equitable practices and policies related to the urban built environment and local economy. Please help us reach our goal of $6,000 this GiveNOLA Day, May 2nd, 2017! Funds raised will go to the Urban Conservancy's three major programs: StayLocal, Front Yard Initiative (FYI), and Building Active Stewardship in New Orleans (BASIN). About StayLocal: StayLocal helps local business owners run the best business they can by providing them educational and networking opportunities, connecting them to resources, and advocating for them on all levels of government. We also educate consumers about the importance of shopping local through our marketing campaigns. Read more >   About FYI The Front Yard Initiative is UC’s response to excessive yard paving. Rampant front yard paving is a community issue that has broad and significant effects on the city of New Orleans from stormwater to safety. Read more > About BASIN Building Active Stewardship in New Orleans (BASIN) is the Urban Conservancy’s program for school-aged children to introduce them to the vocabulary, concepts, and skills required to fully understand and participate in our growing green sector. Read more > Every gift contributes to a thriving, resilient and beautiful New Orleans. Thank you for your support!
Local Restaurants, Sign-up for the Eat Local Restaurant Challenge!
The Eat Local Challenge is a 30-day advocacy campaign where New Orleanians are challenged to only eat foods grown, caught, or raised within a 200-mile radius. The goal of the challenge is to raise the awareness of the nutritional, economic, environmental, and cultural benefits of eating locally sourced foods.     As part of the campaign, Eat Local NOLA (challenge host) and StayLocal are hosting a Restaurant Challenge that encourages New Orleanians to dine at restaurants that support local food systems. Restaurants are invited to prepare one dish made of local ingredients for Eat Local Challenge participants so they can dine out while staying true to the challenge. The participant who dines at the most participating restaurants during the month of June wins a New Orleans Staycation!    Restaurant Commits: 1. Cost of participation is $75 (payment options are included below). 2. Maintain menu with at least one locally sourced dish for the 30 days of the Challenge. Dish can be changed as needed just notify Eat Local NOLA so we can update our website and app. Dish does not need to have all of its ingredients locally sourced, but the more the better. 3. Familiarize staff with details of the local dish’s sourcing (i.e. farm, location) and the benefits of sourcing food locally: environmental, economic, nutritional, and cultural.   Eat Local NOLA provides: 1. Media attention from the Eat Local Challenge for the participating restaurants. Last year the Challenge was featured twice in the Times-Picayune and twice in Gambit Weekly, including a cover story.   2. A listing for your business on the Eat Local Challenge website that includes business name, website, and details about your signature local dish. Last year the Challenge website received 36,722 hits from May 15- July 15 with 4,596 unique visitors. 3. Inclusion of your restaurant’s logo and website on our mobile app. 4. Promotion of your restaurant to the over 1000 people participating in the 2017 Eat Local Challenge. 5. A card to be placed in your business recognizing your participation in Challenge. 6. Active social media marketing through all the Eat Local Challenge and StayLocal’s media channels (over 17,000 followers combined). 7. Opportunity to host a special  “locavore” event by (or at) the restaurant. 8. Opportunity to post recipes on the Challenge blog.   Checks made payable to Eat Local NOLA can be mailed to 1618 Oretha C. Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70113. Payment can also be made online at nolalocavore.org/restaurant-registration   DEADLINE to sign up: May 1, 2017