Us versus Them

In our local market of Southeast Louisiana, we have seen the construction industry as well as the architect and engineering industries bond together for a common goal. Small and mid-sized construction companies in particular are joining forces to fight off larger, national firms looking for work in the area. With the amount of construction going on in Southeast Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and the hit of the recession around the country, many firms are looking to New Orleans as a saving grace because money is still flowing down here. This takes a toll on our local firms though so they are fighting back and groups like ABC and SMPS are helping them network and meet former competitors that have become business allies.
In a recent article in New Orleans CityBusiness, New Orleans City Council President Arnie Fielkow shows is disgust with many local projects going to out-of-state firms. He states that the New Orleans area has comparable firms just as talented and that we should not go out of town to save $11.6 million on a $1.2 billion project. That is 1% of the total price of the project and the amount of tax dollars lost far out ways the minuscule difference in price. Mr. Fielkow is urging all local, state, and even national government offices to use local businesses.
10 years ago, you would have thought it was impossible for many of the firms working together today to do so, but the firms put aside their differences to survive and, in many cases, thrive. Small firms are seeing larger projects that push themselves into new found technology and business efficiencies.