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Baton Rouge security firm acquired by Universal Protection

Baton Rouge security company American Citadel Guard Inc. has been acquired by California-based Universal Protection Service, a division of Universal Services of America and one of the largest providers of security services in the U.S. The company also acquired Cal Crim Inc., which is based in Cincinnati, Ohio. American Citadel Guard’s clients include manufacturers, refineries, transport… Continue reading →

Retailers prepare for year-end sprint toward profits

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Courtney Gora, left, looks over tops while assisted by Laura Gremillion. Shoppers were cruising the aisles and making purchases at The Royal Standard at  2877 Perkins Road in Baton Rouge.

Retail sales for the holiday season in Baton Rouge appear headed for a significant gain over those recorded in November and December a year ago, according to some local owners and managers. The Royal Standard near the Perkins Road overpass experienced double-digit year-over-year sales gains in September and October, and managers expect a successful season.… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Nov. 23, 2014

A conference to address a statewide farm-to-school initiative has been funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant Program. Through a $25,000 grant, the LSU AgCenter will host a statewide farm-to-school conference to bring together school administrators, teachers and parents, food service managers, farmers, food… Continue reading →

People in Business for Nov. 23, 2014

Julie Rose, West Baton Rouge Museum

Julie Rose, the director of the West Baton Rouge Museum in Port Allen, has been elected to chair the American Association for State and Local History. AASLH serves 6,000 members of the association for history museums and history organizations.… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Nov. 23, 2014

Marc Goldstein, Creative Video Productions

Marc Goldstein, owner and president of Creative Video Productions, received the Golden Pelican Lagniappe Award from the Louisiana Hospital Association’s Society for Hospital Public Relations and Marketing. The annual award recognizes excellence in hospital marketing and public relations, work ethic, and a commitment to the organization and support in achieving its goals.… Continue reading →

Louisiana Technology Park gets Microsoft grant

Software giant Microsoft awarded a $262,000 technology grant to the Louisiana Technology Park in Baton Rouge, officials announced Thursday. The gift is the largest software grant received by Tech Park, 7117 Florida Blvd., since the incubator opened for business in 2001, officials added. “Their investment in our programs will allow us to increase the array of… Continue reading →

BR casino market posts gains in Oct.

Baton Rouge’s three riverboat casinos brought in more money in October than they did the year before, with all the properties posting gains over 2013 figures. The riverboats brought in nearly $21.8 million in October, compared with almost $21.4 million in October 2013, a 1.9 percent gain, according to figures released Thursday by State Police. This is… Continue reading →

MasteryPrep wins BREW Pitch Night competition

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Craig Gehring and his company,   MasteryPrep, won the Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week Pitch Night competition.

MasteryPrep, a firm that helps high schools prepare students for the rigors of the ACT test, won the BREW Pitch Night competition Wednesday in Baton Rouge. That win carries the possibility of an investment in the company of as much as $1 million. “We won the Pitch Night,” company founder Craig Gehring exclaimed outside… Continue reading →

Apache sells La., Texas, Okla. wells for $1.4 billion

Apache Corp. plans to sell some oil and gas properties in southern Louisiana and the Anadarko Basin in Texas and Oklahoma for roughly $1.4 billion. Apache did not name the buyers for the properties. The company described the Louisiana properties as “mature fields” with high decline rates and short reserve lives. The Louisiana wells produced the… Continue reading →

Sanchez Energy’s lenders increase borrowing base

Houston-based Sanchez Energy Corp. said Thursday its lenders have doubled the company’s borrowing base to $650 million, a move that shows the strength of Sanchez’s collateral. The company generated strong reserve growth through drilling and acquisitions, said Michael G. Long, executive vice president and chief financial officer. The company has also used geologic and engineering studies to… Continue reading →

Environmentalists call on EPA, industry to lower methane emissions

Sensible practices and low-cost technologies — such as finding and fixing leaks at oil and natural gas wells, processing centers and massive storage facilities — could cut methane emissions in half, according to a report from leading climate advocates. Methane warms the climate at least 80 times more than an equal amount of carbon dioxide over a… Continue reading →

Developers planning mixed-use project

Developers are planning to break ground in the spring on a 25,000-square-foot mixed-use development on Government Street that will be a blend of residences, office space, restaurants and retail. Square 46 will be built on the old Giamanco’s restaurant site at 4646 Government, said Joshua Hoffpauir, the architect who is developing the site. Giamanco’s… Continue reading →

Two parishes key in rise of metro Baton Rouge home sales in October

Home sales in metro Baton Rouge increased by 0.8 percent in October, thanks to continuing strong sales in Livingston and Ascension parishes. There were 667 home sales that closed in October in the nine-parish area, according to figures released Wednesday by the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors. That compares with 662 closed sales in October 2013.… Continue reading →

Reports: U.S. would reap huge energy, economic benefits by drilling in eastern Gulf of Mexico

Two oil industry-backed reports show the United States would reap huge energy and economic benefits by opening up drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Outer Continental Shelf. The studies were done by Quest Offshore Inc. for the National Ocean Industries Association and the American Petroleum Institute. The same parties released a 2013 study touting… Continue reading →

Chouest bids $1.2 billion to build Petrobras dock facility

Cut Off-based Edison Chouest Offshore International submitted the low bid on the contract to build a docking area for Petrobras at the Acu port in the state of Rio de Janeiro, according to Bloomberg News. Edison Chouest’s bid was $1.16 billion. But state-run Petrobras has yet to confirm Edison Chouest won the contract. Ricardo Chagas,… Continue reading →

Lamar completes conversion to trust

Shareholders of Lamar Advertising Co., the Baton Rouge-based outdoor advertising giant, have approved its conversion to a Real Estate Investment Trust. The trusts don’t pay corporate income taxes as long as they distribute 90 percent of profits to shareholders. In order to complete the conversion, Lamar formed a merger with a wholly owned subsidiary,… Continue reading →

Small businesses feel good about holiday sales

Small businesses feel confident and expect stronger holiday sales, according to a quarterly survey by Capital One. The survey found that 71 percent of small businesses expect consistent or improved sales during the holiday season. Some 57 percent believe current business conditions are excellent or good, 10 percent more than a year ago. The survey looked… Continue reading →

Planners propose new north-south road in south Baton Rouge to link Perkins Road to I-10

Advocate file photo by LIBBY ISENHOWER -- Heavy traffic is a reguarlity on Essen Lane.

Planners who are looking at ways to improve traffic flow in the south Baton Rouge health district are proposing building a new north-south road between Bluebonnet Boulevard and Essen Lane that would link Perkins Road to Interstate 10. Along with the new street, dubbed “Midway Boulevard” because of its location between the two major thoroughfares, other ideas… Continue reading →

Consultants outline road plans for proposed Baton Rouge medical district

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Linda Liljedahl, left, and Donna Jones look at interactive maps during a public hearing for the proposed south Baton Rouge health district Wednesday. Both women say they like the idea, because it could improve traffic in the area around Essen Lane.

Consultants working on a proposed south Baton Rouge health district say they want to reduce the amount of traffic and create a network of low-volume roads in the Essen Lane-Bluebonnet Boulevard-Perkins Road area. Karina Ricks, a principal with Nelson\Nygaard, a transportation planning firm based in Washington, D.C., said every day 42,690 cars travel along Essen Lane. In… Continue reading →

Delgado set to open third bar downtown

Metro Councilman John Delgado and his business partners are set to open their third downtown bar, a tap room at the corner of Third and Laurel streets that will have 95 beers on draft. The Draft House will open sometime within the next 30 days, Delgado said. “It will definitely be open for New… Continue reading →

BR metro will grow 2.3% in ’15

Record job numbers for the first nine months of the year point to job growth of 2.3 percent in the nine-parish Baton Rouge metro area in 2015, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber predicted Tuesday. “Our region continues to experience incredible growth,” Adam Knapp, BRAC’s president and chief executive officer, said at the annual Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Consumer Reports warns La., U.S. rice highest in arsenic

Rice grown in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas had the highest levels of inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen that could pose a risk to adults and children if too much is consumed, according to Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports tested 128 samples of basmati, jasmine and sushi rice for arsenic. Those results were combined with findings from the group’s… Continue reading →

Former LSU star Thomas opens midcity development

4242 Government, an office building in midcity developed by former LSU basketball star Tyrus Thomas, is now open. Thomas was part of a group of investors that purchased the former Bible & Book Center at 4242 Government Street in 2013. They’ve turned it into a building that will lease private offices to small businesses and individuals. Along… Continue reading →

Boutin’s plans reorganization

Boutin’s Restaurant has asked a federal bankruptcy court for protection from its creditors while the Bluebonnet Boulevard eatery reorganizes its business. Boutin Restaurant LLC filed the Chapter 11 reorganization request on Wednesday, according to federal bankruptcy records. The Cajun restaurant reported liabilities between $500,001 to $1 million and assets between $100,001 to $500,000. The company’s largest… Continue reading →

Bastrop airport keeps $575,000 grant

Flying Tiger Aviation LLC retains its $575,000 state grant for improvements at Morehouse Memorial Airport in Bastrop, economic development officials ruled Friday. The Louisiana Economic Development Corp. approved the performance-based grant Oct. 17, but one of Flying Tiger’s executives and guarantors was killed the same day in a freakish on-ground accident at Hook Memorial Airport in Rayville.… Continue reading →

EBR spending jumps in Sept.

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish rose by 7 percent in September, a boost aided by one more LSU home football game than was played the same month a year ago. Sales tax collection figures released Monday by the city-parish Finance Department show businesses and consumers spent $709.6 million in September. That compares with… Continue reading →

Firm plans aluminum mill in Southeast to meet ‘unprecedented demand’

Pittsburgh-based American Specialty Alloys announced plans Monday to build a $1.2 billion aluminum mill somewhere in the southeastern United States. The company said the proposed mill will serve the auto industry’s growing demand for lighter vehicles that can meet stringent federal standards for fuel economy. American Specialty Alloys did not disclose the proposed location for the… Continue reading →

State Farm to raise BR auto rates 4.4%

Auto insurance rates will rise an average of 4.4 percent beginning Dec. 8 for Baton Rouge customers of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. State Farm is Louisiana’s largest auto insurer, covering about one in three vehicles. The company said it will increase auto premiums for liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive covers losses from theft, storm… Continue reading →

Halliburton buying rival Baker Hughes

NEW YORK — Halliburton is buying rival oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal worth $34.6 billion. The deal comes just days after talks between the two had stalled and Halliburton prepared to go hostile with its takeover bid. The combined energy company would generate slightly larger revenue than Schlumberger Ltd., currently… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week dedicated to bright ideas

So, you own a small company and need an effective business plan. You’re in luck. It’s time for the fourth annual Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week. SCORE Baton Rouge, a group of volunteers who have mentored owners of small businesses for nearly four decades, has a workshop to create the perfect business plan, another workshop with… Continue reading →

Hotels use new brands to build market share

Photo provided by Marriott's AC Hotel -- NewcrestImage LLC has opened the 220-room AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon/French Quarter, part of Marriott's introduction of its European line of hotels in the U.S.

Hospitality giant Marriott International Inc. brought its European line of hotels to the United States earlier this month with the opening of an AC Hotel in New Orleans, and industry analysts predict a string of other brands will make local debuts in months to come as more developers seek to tap the city’s growing visitor market. AC… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Nov. 16, 2014

The Moran Group, an advertising agency, has expanded into New Orleans with an office at 643 Magazine St., Suite 102. With more than 30 years of experience, the Baton Rouge-based company handles regional advertising for the Hyundai and Honda groups and has clients in over 50… Continue reading →

People in Business for Nov. 16, 2014

Charles D'Agostino, Louisiana Business and Technology Center

Charles D’Agostino was elected to a third term on the board of directors of the Association of University Research Parks, an international organization for research and science parks that is based in Tucson, Arizona. D’Agostino is executive director of the Louisiana Business and Technology Center at LSU. Certified public… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Nov. 16, 2014

Barbara K. Johnson, a principal at consulting firm The Johnson Group, was awarded Fellow status by the International Economic Development Council. Fellowship is based on a member’s substantial contributions to the profession through service to IEDC and/or academic ventures directly related to the practice of economic development. The IEDC is a nonprofit… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for Nov. 16, 2014

LOUISIANA NOTARY ASSOCIATION WHEN: Monday, 6:30 p.m. WHERE: DeAngelo’s, 7550 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge SPEAKER: Sharon Toups, Office of Motor Vehicles and Wildlife and Fisheries information RESERVATIONS: Nan Riffe at nanor… Continue reading →

Providence Photonics receives federal grant

Providence Photonics Inc. in Baton Rouge has received a $299,877 federal grant as it continues to develop technology to measure how effectively industrial flares burn unused hydrocarbons and other chemical waste. Providence is one of nine companies awarded Small Business Innovation Research grants this week totaling nearly $3 million. The technology Providence is developing uses multispectral,… Continue reading →

DDD approves 2015 budget

The Downtown Development District Board of Commissioners easily approved the organization’s 2015 budget Thursday. There was no discussion about the $641,150 budget, which calls for a 1.4 percent spending increase from the current budget. The budget was introduced at last month’s DDD meeting. “Downtown is growing much more than this budget is,” said Commissioner Derrell… Continue reading →

Ourso to host business equity conference

The LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business and Department of Finance will host the second annual Booth-Laird Equity Conference from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday in the Rotunda of the Business Education Complex on Nicholson Extension at LSU. The goal of the conference is to provide investment ideas to investors. The conference is… Continue reading →

Events set Saturday for help enrolling in ‘Obamacare’

Help in getting health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” is being provided Saturday at several area locations in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Clinton and Amite by the Louisiana Enrollment Partnership. The group is a coalition of organizations trying to ensure Louisiana residents have access to free in-person assistance enrolling in “Obamacare.” Nov. 15 through… Continue reading →

Louisiana jumps 11 spots in Forbes best for business list

Louisiana jumped 11 spots to rank No. 29 in the U.S. on Forbes list of Best States for Business. “The biggest gainer this year is Louisiana, which rises to No. 29 from No. 40,” Kurt Badenhausen wrote in the 2014 Forbes report. “Louisiana has made great strides since hurricanes Rita and Katrina hit in 2005. Income and… Continue reading →