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Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette area Business Honors for June 26, 2016

Judge Glenn B. Ansardi, 24th Judicial District Court

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank was recognized as a 4-Star Charity by Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator. The top rating means a charity exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause. Charity Navigator determines the overall rating of a nonprofit based on its financial health, accountability and transparency.… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims in Louisiana fall

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending June 18 decreased to 2,822 from the previous week’s total of 3,445. The state labor department said there were 2,731 a year earlier. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, decreased to 3,249 from the previous week’s total of 3,335.… Continue reading →

Kirklands opens Juban Crossing store

Home decor retailer Kirkland’s will have a grand opening Saturday for its Juban Crossing store at 27853 Juban Road in Denham Springs. This is the third Kirkland’s store in metro Baton Rouge, joining locations at the Mall of Louisiana and Towne Center. Kirkland’s has nearly 400 locations in 36 states.… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count down 3; Louisiana drops five

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by three this week to 421, snapping three weeks of gains after a slide that lasted months and pushed the count to record-low levels amid depressed energy prices. A year ago, 859 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge gains 5,600 jobs in past year

Baton Rouge added 5,600 nonfarm jobs over the 12 months ending May 31, leading the state’s metro areas in job growth, while Lafayette lost 8,100 jobs and New Orleans 1,600. Metro-area jobs losses were driven largely by the oil and gas industry’s skid. In addition to the losses suffered in Lafayette and New Orleans, Houma-Thibodaux and Shreveport-Bossier… Continue reading →

'Uncertainty' surrounds Louisiana’s ninth-largest trade partner, major in-state investor following Brexit

Associated Press photo by ANTHONY DEVLIN -- Vote Leave supporters celebrate as they walk through Parliament Square in London, Friday. Britain entered uncharted waters after the country voted to leave the European Union.

The only thing certain about Britain’s exit from the European Union is “uncertainty” for a country that is Louisiana’s ninth-largest trading partner and a major investor in the state. The U.K. also is a substantial source of tourists. New Orleans is the second-most popular entry point for English visitors to the United States behind only New York.… Continue reading →

Albemarle joining S&P 500

Specialty chemicals maker Albemarle Corp. will join the S&P 500 after the close of trading on June 30. The move coincides with the expected completion date of Emera Inc.’s acquisition of TECO Energy, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The S&P 500 measures the value of the stocks of the 500 largest companies by market capitalization and… Continue reading →

Wal-Mart brings grocery pickup service to 6 south Louisiana stores

Associated Press file photo -- Wal-Mart customers can avoid the hassle of shopping for groceries in the retailer's stores by ordering online for curbside pickup at six stores in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas.

Wal-Mart shoppers are now able to order grocery items online and pick them up curbside at no additional charge at six south Louisiana stores. The curbside service is being offered at three Baton Rouge-area stores at 308 N. Airline Highway in Gonzales; 904 S. Range Ave. in Denham Springs; and 17585 Airline Highway in Prairieville. Three… Continue reading →

Tin Roof: Taste testers overwhelmingly choose premium American lager as style of LSU's official beer

Photo provided by Tin Roof -- Tin Roof's officially licensed LSU beer, Bayou Bengal, will be a premium American lager. ORG XMIT: M2RVar7ylTGrgBfj099S

What would an LSU beer taste like? We have an answer. Tin Roof Brewing Company announced Thursday that its officially licensed LSU beer, Bayou Bengal, is a premium American lager. Last month, Tin Roof reached out to LSU fans and members of the community to participate in a blind tasting panel to choose the style of… Continue reading →

Elmer Chocolate satisfying that sweet tooth with $40 million plant expansion

Satisfying that sweet tooth just got a big boost. Elmer Chocolate has completed a $40 million manufacturing expansion in Ponchatoula to make its chocolates, caramels, truffles and crèmes, along with its seasonal holiday Gold Brick, Heavenly Hash and Pecan Eggs. The production technology installed is designed to make the company more efficient, versatile and competitive in… Continue reading →

Tim Barfield named head of CSRS design, management firm

Tim Barfield

CSRS Inc., a Baton Rouge-based design and management firm, announced that Executive Vice President Tim Barfield will succeed Michael Songy as the firm’s president, effective July 1. Songy, one of the firm’s founding members and president and chief executive officer for more than nine years, will continue to serve as chairman of the board. He also will… Continue reading →

How Cuba could be an opportunity for one-time top trade partner Louisiana

More than a half-century ago, ferry-boats regularly brought tourists from New Orleans to Cuba, separated by only 700 miles. Now, with commercial air service expected to resume to the isolated island nation amid normalizing U.S. relations, Louisiana could reap some benefit from ramping up business with its onetime leading trade partner. That’s according to… Continue reading →

Consumer, business spending jumps 3.1 percent in East Baton Rouge Parish in April

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased 3.1 percent in April when compared with the year before. Businesses and consumers spent nearly $692 million in April, according to figures released Wednesday by the city-parish Finance Department. That compares with nearly $671 million in April 2015. The figures do not include vehicle sales,… Continue reading →

Melrose East apartment complex sold for $1.8 million

A group of New Orleans investors has purchased an apartment complex in Melrose East for nearly $1.8 million. Ryer Investors LLC purchased the Cabana Gardens in a deal that was filed Tuesday with the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s Office. The seller was California-based Cabana Partners LLC. Cabana Gardens is a 68-unit complex… Continue reading →

Aviation authority clears small, commercial drones for flight

Associated Press file photo -- A drone is used to capture videos and still images of an apartment building in Philadelphia. Routine commercial use of small drones was cleared for takeoff by the Obama administration Tuesday.

Routine use of small drones by real estate agents, farmers, filmmakers and countless other commercial operators was cleared for takeoff by President Barack Obama’s administration Tuesday after years of struggling to write rules that would protect public safety and free the benefits of a new technology. Brian Blessing, co-founder of Lafayette-based National UAS Solutions LLC, said the… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program applications being accepted

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber is taking applications until 5 p.m. Friday for its 2017 Baton Rouge Area Leadership Program class. The program prepares a diverse group of professionals for leadership positions in the community. It focuses during a nine-month program on key issues and areas of concern such as education; diversity; city and state government; health… Continue reading →

Postlethwaite tech subsidiary launches business development software

P&N Tech, the information technology subsidiary of accounting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville, has released a new business development software application called Pounce. The Baton Rouge-based accounting firm describes Pounce as an easy-to-use, web-based system for service providers in the accounting, business consulting, legal and architect/engineer/contractor industries. The software helps users manage marketing material and… Continue reading →

Circa 1857 gets new owner, name

Circa 1857, a Mid City art and antiques dealer, has a new owner and new name. Garrett Kemp became owner of the 4,000-square-foot space at the corner of Government and South 19th Street on June 1. Kemp has re-named the business The Market at Circa 1857. Kemp, 21, said he plans to modernize the… Continue reading →

Louisiana has third-highest number of State Farm lightning claims in U.S.

Louisiana had the third-highest number of lightning claims by State Farm policyholders in 2015. The company paid more than $6.3 million on 1,391 lightning claims, or about $4,600 per claim on average. State Farm released the numbers during National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, which ends June 26. The company is the state’s largest homeowner’s insurance company with… Continue reading →

Ascension Parish homebuilders playing catch-up

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Home being built at Parker Place Estates in Ascension Parish. Ascension Parish has had a problem with a tight inventory of homes for a couple of years, but more properties are getting permitted. However, demand may have outstripped the ability to build houses fast enough.

A limited supply of homes has hampered real estate activity in fast-growing Ascension Parish for the past year and a half. Despite a flurry of subdivision permits being issued to developers trying to get ahead of new traffic impact fees effective in April, the inventory of houses for sale in the parish is nearly one-third what real… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette area Business Honors for June 19, 2016

Jay Shelledy, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication

James E. “Jay” Shelledy, professional-in-residence and the Fred Jones Greer Jr. endowed chair at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication, will receive the Educator of the Year Award from the newspaper and online news division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication at the organization’s August conference. The… Continue reading →

Louisiana firm receives Mississippi aquarium contract

A proposed $65 million aquarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, will be marketed by Baton Rouge-based marketing and advertsing firm MESH. The company was selected from six finalists by the Gulfport Redevelopment Commission to handle a marketing campaign to raise money for the aquairum, launch the project and, during the aquarium’s first year, work on funding to sustain it.… Continue reading →

Louisiana loses 19,600 jobs over 12-month period through May; oil and gas industry hit hardest

Louisiana’s nonfarm employment fell by 19,600 jobs for the 12 months ending in May, as the state lost ground in seven of 11 economic sectors, with the biggest hit once again to the oil and gas industry. The 1 percent decline dropped Louisiana to 1,979,800 jobs in May, according to preliminary numbers released Friday by the U.S. Bureau… Continue reading →

Mid City art gallery Rue Cou Cou closing June 30

Rue Cou Cou, a Mid City art gallery, is set to close at the end of the month. In an email, the gallery at 1857 Government St. said its last day will be June 30. Greg Doucet, who has owned Rue Cou Cou for the past seven years with his wife, Laurel, said a combination… Continue reading →

Sasol study projects impact of Westlake project

Sasol says it expects to spend more than $3.5 billion in Louisiana through the construction phase of its ethane cracker and derivatives project being built at Westlake in Calcasieu Parish. The company said $2.5 billion already has been committed to Louisiana contractors and businesses. Capital expenditures during construction will generate $270 million in revenue for state… Continue reading →

Delmar offshore oil services firm in Broussard acquires California company

The owners of Delmar Systems Inc., a global supplier of offshore mooring and subsea services based in Broussard, have acquired privately owned InterOcean Systems Inc. in California. InterOcean will continue to operate with its existing management from its San Diego headquarters as an affiliate of Delmar. Founded in 1946, InterOcean designs and manufactures oceanographic… Continue reading →

Lottie Chemical, Axiall start construction on $3 billion plants project

Construction has started on a $3 billion chemical manufacturing project in Lake Charles. LACC LLC, a joint venture of Lotte Chemical and Axiall Corp., will build a $1.9 billion ethane cracker complex near Axiall’s existing manufacturing plants in Calcasieu Parish. Using a portion of ethylene produced by that plant, Lotte Chemical will produce monoethylene glycol at a… Continue reading →

Downtown Baton Rouge property pitched as swanky site for hotels, restaurants seized, set for sheriff’s auction

Artist's rendering provided by River Park --The River Park development, north of Hollywood Casino in downtown Baton Rouge, was proposed as a development that would include a hotel, restuarants and residential, retail and commercial space.

A 36.8-acre tract next to Hollywood Casino, which a developer pitched as the site for hotels, residences, two live music venues and more than 18 restaurants, has been seized and is set for a sheriff’s sale later this month. Pete Clements, who is developing River Park, said he’s “resolving the problem” and doesn’t foresee the sale taking… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge ranks worst for fatal crashes, another good reason for governor’s transportation task force

A recent report that ranked Baton Rouge the second-most dangerous city for drivers demonstrates the need for a new state task force that will study transportation issues, according to a business-led group. Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, or CRISIS, says the report from financial services firm Nerdwallet shows only Detroit was… Continue reading →

McAlister’s Deli looking to re-enter Baton Rouge market

McAlister’s Deli, fresh off closing its second Baton Rouge location, already is looking to re-enter the market. The McAlister’s on Siegen Lane closed at the end of May after the lease on the property expired and an agreement couldn’t be reached with the landlord, said Melissa Smith, a spokeswoman for Focus Brands. Focus Brands is the operator… Continue reading →

State mineral lease sales fall to lowest level in more than 20 years

Louisiana’s mineral lease sales brought in $5.5 million in bonus payments for the 2015-16 fiscal year, the lowest amount in more than two decades, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. The state’s fiscal year runs from July to June. During the previous fiscal year, the state collected $14 million in bonus payments. The 2015-16… Continue reading →

Construction to start soon on $35 million Perkins Rowe Village apartments complex

Construction should start “in the next week or so” on Park Rowe Village, a $35.2 million apartment complex in the Perkins Rowe mixed-use development. David Alexander, a partner in Vintage Realty, the Shreveport company that is developing Park Rowe Village, said the first apartments in the 336-unit development should be available for lease in spring… Continue reading →