Business briefs for Dec. 8

Coalition to assist animals in disasters

A coalition of organizations, including the LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute and the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry, have banded together to reduce the harm animals suffer as a result of disasters.

The Animals in Disaster Advisory Group is made up of representatives from local, state and federal government, and academia and private institutions, with expertise in emergency animal preparedness, response and recovery.

The group’s objective is to save lives and prevent the suffering of humans and animals involved in a disaster.

“Animal care associated with disaster events and planning is an area of tremendous and growing importance to the disaster management community and affects decisions regarding human lives as well,” said Joseph Booth, executive director of the Disaster Management Institute. “This advisory group is composed of some of the leading experts in the nation and will be instrumental in shaping the future of disaster management.”

The group’s members also include the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Louisiana State Animal Response Team, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Department of Agriculture Emergency Programs Division, Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Louisiana Department of Health Hospitals, Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section.

For more information, visit www.sdmi.lsu.edu.

Work starting on assisted living center

LaCour Health Care Center LLC, a 60-unit assisted living community, is beginning construction at the corner of Memorial and Major Parkway in New Roads.

The 59,560-square-foot facility is being developed by Gerard LaCour. LaCour House will be managed by Concepts in Community Living Inc.

Completion is expected by March 15.

Financing for the $9.75 million project will be provided through The Cottonport Bank. The project is part of the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry program, which provides technical assistance and financial backing for rural businesses.

The community will include 46 apartments with studio, one- and two- bedroom styles, as well as a memory care wing with 14 studio apartments. An adult day health care program may also be available for those who benefit from health, social and related support services.

The apartments will have kitchenettes, large closets and bathrooms with roll-in showers. Monthly service fees will include most utilities, three meals and snacks daily, housekeeping, laundry and maintenance services and personalized care services.

Community features also include enclosed courtyards; two dining rooms; beauty/barber shop; library/computer center; wellness activity center; café, TV/game room; covered porches and sun rooms.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, starting at the Cottonport Bank Community Center at 208 E. Main St. and moving to the nearby construction site. A reception will follow the groundbreaking at the community center.

Hoover Container opens Scott service center

Hoover Container Solutions, a subsidiary of Hoover Group Inc., has opened a new distribution and service center in Scott to bolster its services to the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern United States.

The center employs 11 workers and is expected to more than double within the next six months.

The center is on 9 acres and is made up of 25,000 square feet of warehouse and 3,000 square feet of office space.

Robbie Monlezun, Hoover’s regional operations manager, oversees the facility.

The site houses tank cleaning equipment and handles operations such as tank wash, recertification, reconditioning and transportation of intermediate bulk containers. It also sells and rents stainless and poly IBCs, offshore chemical tanks, ISO tank containers, offshore baskets, cutting boxes and related products.

Hoover is headquartered in Houston and also has distribution and service centers in New Iberia and Port Fourchon; Stavanger, Norway; Melbourne and Perth, Australia; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Macae, Brazil.

Woodhouse Day Spa opens in High Grove

The Woodhouse Day Spa has opened in the High Grove development, off Interstate 10 just east of the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.

The Domain Companies opened the High Grove apartments and the Woodhouse is its first retailer in the Boutiques at High Grove, which is made up of 25,000 square feet of retail space for a mix of restaurants and retailers.

The Woodhouse Day Spa occupying 5,000 square feet. Its services include massages, detoxifying body treatments, facials, waxing and nail treatments and skin care including the HydraDerm, brightening peels and microcurrent technology.

SBA accepting small business nominations

The U.S. Small Business Administration is accepting nominations for its 2014 National Small Business Week Awards, including the annual Small Business Person of the Year award.

Nominations must be submitted online, postmarked or hand-delivered to the SBA Louisiana District Office by the end of the day Jan. 17.

Other small business awards include Phoenix Awards, recognizing outstanding accomplishments during disaster recovery; Prime Contractor of the Year; Subcontractor of the Year; The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, recognizing large prime contractors who have used small businesses as suppliers and contractors; SBA 8(a) Graduate of the Year; Exporter of the Year; Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award; Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award; and Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award.

Nominations can be made online at nationalsmallbusinessweek.sba.gov/ or mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Attn: Melissa Daigrepont, 365 Canal St., Suite 2820, New Orleans, LA 70130

For more information on guidelines and nomination package requirements go online or call (504) 589-6685.

Nominations sought for Ag distinction award

Nominations for the 2014 Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Distinction are being accepted through Dec. 15.

The program honors extraordinary contributions of individuals to Louisiana agriculture. Nominees can represent farming, ranching, forestry, aquaculture, fisheries, education or agribusiness.

This year will be the first for the hall of distinction program, which is replacing the former award known as the Louisiana Farmer of the Year.

Application or nomination forms can be obtained online at www.LSUAgCenter.com/AgHallofDistinction or at any LSU AgCenter parish extension office.

For more information, contact Don Molino with Louisiana Radio Network at (225) 291-2727, ext. 210, or don@louisianaradionetwork.com or Bobby Soileau with the LSU AgCenter at (225) 578-5670 or bsoileau@agcenter.lsu.edu.

Geocent gets Homeland contract opportunity

Geocent, which provides geospatial and GIS services, has been awarded an opportunity to provide Geospatial Technical Support Services for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Geocent and three other small businesses were selected to provide services under a $98 million Blanket Purchase Agreement that covers a one-year base period and up to four option years.

Geocent may provide information technology support to geospatial programs for the department.

Through this agreement, DHS will secure geospatial technology services to: produce maps of natural hazards such as floodplains; assess critical infrastructure risk and vulnerabilities; track and monitor law enforcement activities and support reconnaissance operations; conduct urban search and rescue operations to recover survivors affected by disasters; plan security operations for special events; and facilitate vessel and cargo tracking and inspection.

Geocent is headquartered in Metairie and has offices in Charleston, S.C.; Huntsville, Ala,; Stennis Space Center, Miss.; New Orleans; Baton Rouge; and Tulsa, Okla.