May 17, 2006 | New Orleans

Last August, the world watched the devastation to the Gulf Coast Region caused by Hurricane Katrina. The Greater New Orleans area received a large portion of that media attention. It is now almost 9 months later and we would like to give you an update from a local's perspective.

It is of the utmost importance to have a revenue source to fund normal city services. Tourism is critically important as taxes generated through this industry are a large portion of that generated revenue…PLUS…pre-Katrina, 85,000 jobs were tourism related.

Fortunately, nearly all the popular tourist areas were not affected by the flood caused by the levee breaches. Most businesses in the French Quarter, Riverfront, Central Business District, Warehouse District and Garden District are back in business. Many of these businesses are still feeling some of the pain from lack of full staffing…but, for the most part, they are very close to being back to "normal".

However, we have a double edge sword here …