After an upbeat year of business, tougher
times have hit Paulette Callahan's jewelry and art store.
In September, Hurricane Gustav closed the city down, and then
the nation plunged into the economic crisis that's frayed
Callahan needs business to pick up this holiday season to better
justify the high cost of rent in what she calls an up-and-coming
stretch of Magazine Street, the Uptown thoroughfare that became one
of New Orleans' main retail drags after Hurricane Katrina wiped out
malls in August 2005.
The small businesses, ranging from clothing and gift shops to
antique dealers and specialty stores, are trying - in some cases,
struggling - to stay ahead of the area's evolving retail landscape.
Many malls outside the city are back in operation. Macy's, which
closed after Katrina, has renewed its interest in the market,
recently opening large, suburban stores. It has not reopened in the
The small-shop character could be just the thing to keep
Magazine Street going, University of New Orleans economist Janet