Local businesses need support, now more than ever, and here’s one way we can get it.
I’m Meagen Moreland-Taliancich, Co-Founder of Happy Raptor Distilling, located on the corner of MLK and Carondelet. Last week, I joined the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition’s Business Benefits Briefing to discuss how Complete Streets would benefit my local business and employees.
In case you missed it, I wanted to give you a brief summary of our discussion: how better transit equity would ensure my employees could get to work on time; how less people driving reduces the chance of people drinking and driving; how protected bikeways will make our guests feel safe biking to and from our business.
The City of New Orleans is about to build Complete Streets improvements on MLK Boulevard, bringing much more safety and less stress to my business. While you and I know the support Complete Streets can bring to a community, many business owners don’t know or may be misinformed.
That’s why I’m asking you to join the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition in calling local businesses to discuss the business benefits of street safety and accessibility infrastructure coming to New Orleans this Tuesday or Thursday from 2-4pm.
Infrastructure that makes it safer and less stressful to walk, bike, drive, or take public transit to our distillery will always bring more customers. The more options and the easier it is to get to us, the better. But, I want to take a moment to talk about what this infrastructure will mean for our employees.
At Happy Raptor, the first employee we ever hired takes public transit to work. Unfortunately, this also means that he’s often quite late, despite his best efforts and being an excellent contributor to our team. We’re understanding of this, but it impacts the flow of our business. For instance, we can’t schedule him to open the distillery, or frequently call on him to cover last minute shifts because of how unreliable the transit system is. For an employee making a fair hourly wage and tips, the cost of unreliable transit is high.
I know many local businesses have similar stories, and they are directly related to issues of equity. He’s an employee of color, and making our transit system more equitable would put more resources directly into his pocket.
My business needs Complete Streets, and so do my employees.
That’s why I was happy to join the Coalition’s Business Briefing, and I hope you’ll join the coalition in chatting with other business owners about what Complete Streets can do for their business and their employees on Tuesday and Thursday from 2-4pm.
The road ahead is looking brighter every day, for Happy Raptor Distilling, for our employees, for our community in Central City, and for all of New Orleans. Let’s keep it rolling!
You can watch a recording of the Complete Streets Benefits to Business Breakfast Briefing by clicking here.
The briefing also featured LaVerne Toombs, Executive Director of the N. O. Regional Black Chamber — Jennifer Ruley, Mobility & Safety Program Lead at City of New Orleans / DPW — Kelsey Foster, Executive Director of Algiers Economic Development Foundation.