Business Briefs for Sunday, Nov. 18

Lighthouse opens new blind facility

Lighthouse Louisiana, formerly Lighthouse for the Blind, has opened a new facility at 2773 North Flannery Road in Baton Rouge.

The organization offers employment opportunities, vision rehabilitation services and technology to people with vision loss.

In Baton Rouge, the organization created jobs for 17 blind and 18 sighted workers. It has an Occupational Therapy Low Vision Clinic for vision assessments and training to improve reading, writing and distance viewing; a retail store with magnifiers and other devices for people with vision loss; transportation services; training in adapted computers, mobility skills and independent living skills to support employment and home management needs. The facility works with local employers to provide employees through Supportive Employment services.

The organization will soon be offering services to the deaf.

The phone number is (225) 275-1200 and toll-free (888) 792-0163. The website is http://www.lhb.org.

Lung cancer clinic does screenings

Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center has launched a specialized Lung Cancer Screening Clinic dedicated to the early diagnosis of lung cancer, targeting high-risk individuals who are 50 and older and are longtime smokers, exposed to occupational hazards or have a family history.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in Louisiana, but the disease is 80 to 90 percent curable when caught early, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

The phone number is (225) 215-1515.

Retailer opens stores in BR, New Orleans

Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer h.h.gregg has opened a store in Baton Rouge and two in New Orleans.

The Baton Rouge store is in the Mall of Louisiana at 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd.

The New Orleans stores are at 901 Manhattan Blvd. in Harvey and 8851 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Metairie

Each h.h.gregg store showcases HDTVs, home theater products, more than 350 major appliances in stock, Serta and Tempurpedic mattresses, computers and mobile products; entertainment furniture; and a fitness section.

Hours for the stores are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Phone numbers are Baton Rouge, (225) 923-6915; Harvey, (504) 539-3838; and Metairie, (504) 667-4138.

The retailer operates about 230 stores in 20 states.

State agency funding oyster refrigeration

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries launched the first phase of the Seafood Technology and Equipment program, designed to aid the seafood industry in upgrading current equipment.

In this first phase, the department will assist oyster vessel owners in purchasing refrigeration equipment. Participants in the program can qualify for 50 percent of their eligible refrigeration costs, up to $10,000.

Oyster refrigeration is an important component of the Department’s Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program, launching this fall. Passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2010, the program authorizes the department to establish a voluntary certification program for Louisiana wild seafood. Through the program, the department hopes to create a more professional industry, better handling practices and a more consistent, quality product.

“Advanced refrigeration equipment onboard vessels will help in our efforts to produce high-quality seafood products,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.

The Department is prioritizing the oyster industry because a new rule places restrictions on the amount of time it takes to refrigerate restricted-use products.

“We continue to explore every available resource to direct additional funds toward this program and intend to create similar programs for other Louisiana fisheries,” Pausina said.

The deadline to submit applications is Jan. 15. To apply, contact South Central Planning and Development Commission at (985) 655-1051, toll-free at (800) 630-3791; or by mailing SCPDC, P.O. Box 1870, Gray, LA 70359.

Nola Bonsai store open on Jackson Ave.

Nola Bonsai has opened at 1529 Jackson Ave. in New Orleans.

The store is owned and operated by bonsai master Guy Guidry.

The store stocks a variety of interior and exterior bonsai and plants for sale and rent for events, including tropicals and succulents. It also sells bonsai tools and supplies, books, merchandise and art and offers beginner to advanced classical bonsai instruction.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and during scheduled classes.

For more information, call (985) 705-3357 or go online to http://nolabonsai.com.

Stennis highlights Louisiana resources

Miss. The Stennis Business Consortium will hold a general meeting 1-2:30 p.m. Nov. 27, highlighting Louisiana-based organizations that provide resources to small businesses.

The event will be in the StenniSphere auditorium in Building 1200 at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

An annual Supplier and Service Provider Showcase will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 28 in the atrium of Building 1100.

Agencies scheduled for the Nov. 27 meeting are Louisiana Economic Development; Louisiana Technology Council; Louisiana Business and Technology Center/Louisiana Technology Transfer Office; Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center; Louisiana Department for Veterans Affairs; Louisiana Workforce Commission; the U.S. Small Business Administration; and St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation.

Representatives from Louisiana and counterpart agencies from Mississippi will be available for informal match-making after the meeting.

Those who do not have a Stennis Space Center security badge and those who do should register no later than Nov. 21. Foreign nationals should have registered a month in advance to assure access to Stennis.

Register for these events at http://www.mset.org/events/stennis-business-consortium-general-meeting/

Veterans workshop helps new businesses

SCORE Acadiana is holding a two-day “Simple Steps to Starting a Business” workshop for veterans Nov. 29-30 at the Fairfield Inn & Suites at 1606 W. Pinhook Drive in Lafayette.

The free workshop is part of the national organization’s Veterans Fast Launch Initiative to help veterans start and grow a profitable business. Following the workshop, SCORE volunteers will continue to mentor veterans to complete their business plan.

The workshop is open to any Louisiana veteran. Seating is limited to 100.

To register, call SCORE Acadiana at (337) 200-0431 or request a registration form by emailing cajun_score@yahoo.com.

Globalstar partners on Gulf project

COVINGTON — Globalstar Inc. in Covington, which provides mobile satellite voice and data services, announced a partnership with the University of Miami to complete the Grand Lagrangian Deployment, a research expedition studying ocean surface flow.

Researchers have placed more than 300 SPOT Satellite GPS Messengers into the Gulf with high-frequency tracking.

The Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment, which is funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, plans to use the collected data to explain ocean flow as it relates to the dispersion of pollutants and the effects of hurricanes on the dissemination of environmental hazards over time.

“In light of the Deepwater Horizon incident and Hurricane Isaac, SPOT has transmitted ground-breaking data that may tell us how pollutants behave in normal and hurricane conditions,” said Dr. Tamay Ozgokmen, director of CARTHE.

The CARTHE project includes 26 principal investigators from 12 research institutions in eight states. The research project was made possible by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, a 10-year, $500 million independent research program established by an agreement between BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact of this and similar incidents on the environment and public health.