Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
New Orleans, La. -- Small businesses are the lifeblood of the metro area, and now the state is trying to help them by making it easier to get their start with a new program that is technology driven.
It’s been one year and a day since Liberty Cheese Steaks served up its first philly cheese steak sandwich. But, co-owner Michael Casey says it wasn’t easy getting his Freret street shop up-and-running. “It’s just getting started, in business and in life,” says Casey. “It’s just, how do I get started? Where do I go?”
What followed was months of paperwork that had to be filed again and again with various state agencies.
“It was difficult, and the offices close at 4:00 p.m., and I’m 24-hours-a-day,” Casey explains. “So, that put things off. We have different priorities. And, working with their schedule, and trying to get it to mesh with your schedule, is really, really difficult,” says Casey.
The Secretary of State’s new website, Geaux Biz, would do away with the now tedious process.
“To me, it’s just taking out the bureaucratic red tape,” Secretary of State, Tom Schedler says. “My wife and I are small business owners, and I think everyone can relate to the whole concept and frustration of, ‘what do I have to do to open up?’ You might know what you’re doing, but what do you have to do to get in business to get all the necessary certificates and licenses,” Schedler explains.
With just a click of a button, start-ups and entrepreneurs will have everything they need at their fingertips. They can fill out all their paperwork online, which would then be automatically dispersed to all the other necessary agencies.
“I think any type of tool or resource that can help out would be phenomenal,” Casey says.
And, Schedler says Geaux Biz will make sure everyone trying to start a business for the first time does not miss a necessary step. “This forces that they go through the initial process of all the absolutely mandatory things, those three agencies,” says Schedler.
Schedler stated that they are in the process of building the website right now, and it will be up-and-running this time next year.