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Workshops set for small business plan competition

Workshops have been scheduled this week for participation in a statewide small business growth plan competition with $60,000 in prizes that is being held by Capital One Bank in conjunction with the 41st Annual Bayou Classic football game in New Orleans. The competition will feature two categories: Category 1 for businesses with annual revenue of less than… Continue reading →

News good for Louisiana job growth, but bad for unemployment rate

Louisiana’s nonfarm employment grew by 33,100 jobs over the year ended Sept. 30, setting a record and nearing the 2 million mark. Seasonally adjusted numbers released Tuesday by the Louisiana Workforce Commission showed nonfarm employment exceeded 1.98 million — 12,100 shy of 2 million. “Thanks to consistent job growth that continues to set records,… Continue reading →

Sinfonia expands to La.

Sinfonia Family Services, the behavioral health subsidiary of Sinfonia HealthCare Corp., plans to expand to Louisiana and Maine. The company’s Louisiana headquarters will be in Metairie, and Sinfonia Family Services plans to open offices in Lafayette and Shreveport in 2015. Kathleen K. Saintcross, former manager of Quality Life Counseling of New Orleans, has been named… Continue reading →

East West Copolymer secures $12 million in financing

Houston-based investment firm Main Street Capital Corp. said Tuesday it led a $12 million financing round for Baton Rouge’s East West Copolymer & Rubber LLC. East West, which bought the synthetic rubbers plant from Lion Copolymer in April, will use the money for working capital and expansion. Main Street provided $9.6 million of the total.… Continue reading →

Lululemon opening in Acadian Village

Rendering provided by Lululemon -- Lululemon will occupy a stand-alone store at the Acadian Village shopping center at Perkins Road and Acadiana Thruway.

Lululemon, the trendy manufacturer of yoga apparel, is set to open a stand-alone store in the Acadian Village shopping center. Plans are to open a 3,200-square-foot store by fall 2015. The store will be built on a parcel between Galatoire’s Bistro and a Shell station, near the Perkins Road-Acadian Thruway intersection. This… Continue reading →

Airline Walgreens building sold

The Walgreens Pharmacy building at 5955 Airline Highway has been sold for $5.5 million. Penn 1031 LLC sold the building to ARCP WG Portfolio I LLC in a deal that was filed Monday with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office. The buyer is connected to American Realty Capital Properties, a real estate investment trust that… Continue reading →

Agency approves Water Campus building

The first component of the Water Campus, a 33-acre center for coastal education and research between downtown and LSU, was approved by the City-Parish Planning Commission Monday. Commissioners also approved a rezoning request from the Tipitina’s Foundation to turn two buildings at 5049 Melrose Blvd. and 5069 Melrose Blvd. into office/classroom space, audio and video recording studios,… Continue reading →

Shell Midstream Partners files for $750 million IPO

Shell Midstream Partners LP filed for an initial public offering that could be worth about $750 million before expenses and discounts. Shell Midstream was formed by Royal Dutch Shell, and it will focus on acquiring pipelines and other midstream assets. Shell Midstream’s assets include stakes in Zydeco Pipeline Co., Mars… Continue reading →

OLOL to monitor critical patients at Woman’s Hospital

Critical adult patients at Woman’s Hospital will be monitored through specialized equipment by critical care physicians at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in a partnership between the two hospitals. A nationwide shortage of critical care physicians — also known as intensivists — has made it difficult for hospitals around the country to recruit the… Continue reading →

Textron lays off 200 from Slidell military plants

Textron plans to lay off about 200 workers from its two Slidell armored vehicle plants, saying it’s temporarily shutting down production. Workers were told earlier this month that they would be laid off effective Nov. 3. Company spokesman Tom Williams said Textron, an industrial conglomerate based in Providence, Rhode Island, is replanning… Continue reading →

National firm ranks Louisiana business climate 10th in U.S.

A national location marketing firm has ranked Louisiana as having the nation’s 10th-best business climate and tied for the second best state economic development agency. The Development Counsellors International report polled 356 corporate executives and site-selection consultants. Louisiana jumped 20 spots from the last time the report was done in 2011 when the… Continue reading →

Rouses, Associated Grocers reach settlement in legal dispute

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Thibodaux-based Rouses Supermarket, with one of its 40 stores located in Lafayette, reached an undisclosed settlement in legal dispute with grocery supplier Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge.

Thibodaux-based retail grocery chain Rouses Enterprises and Baton Rouge-based wholesale grocery supplier Associated Grocers have reached an undisclosed settlement in a legal dispute after three days of trial last week. “The Rouse family is very satisfied with this resolution,” managing partner Donny Rouse said in a statement Monday. He said terms of the settlement are confidential.… Continue reading →

Onshore rigs could flee La. as oil prices go down

Falling oil prices could speed the departure of onshore drilling rigs from the state, particularly in the still-developing Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, which underlies parts of southeast Louisiana. But experts say it will take a longer downturn to slow deepwater activity in the Gulf of Mexico, where the rig count is expected to jump 50 percent by 2016.… Continue reading →

Business Briefs for Oct. 19, 2014

The Southern University Law Center will hold its 25th annual National Bar Association Wiley A. Branton Award and Issues Symposium Oct. 29-31, with a theme of “Education: The New Civil Right.” American Bar Association President-Elect Paulette Brown, who will be the first woman of color to… Continue reading →

People in Business for Oct. 19, 2014

Dan Paquin, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Dan Paquin has joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana as senior vice president of government programs responsible for the growth, policy development, administration and operation of Blue Cross’ soon-to-be-launched Medicare Advantage plan. Paquin was president of national health plans for Wellcare Health Plans and was responsible for the Medicaid, Medicare… Continue reading →

Business Honors for Oct. 19, 2014

Neena Kelfstrom, The Runnels School

Gina E. Eubanks, associate vice chancellor and program leader for nutrition and food sciences at the LSU Agricultural Center and vice chancellor for extension at the Southern University AgCenter, received the Leadership Award at the Booker T. Washington Economic Summit at Tuskegee University in Alabama. She was cited for her work that highlights and… Continue reading →

Business Meetings for Oct. 19, 2014

LOUISIANA NOTARY ASSOCIATION WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Monday WHERE: D’Angelo’s, 7550 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge EVENT: Shop talk RESERVATIONS: Nan Riffe at LOUISIANA SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER WHEN: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. WHERE: Ascension Parish Library, 500 Mississippi St., Donaldsonville SPEAKER: Stephen Waters on “Starting and Financing a Small Business” COST: Free RESERVATIONS: (225) 473-8052 INTERNATIONAL FACILITY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION WHEN: Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. WHERE: Juban’s Restaurant, 3739 Perkins Road,… Continue reading →

U.S. rig count down 12; Louisiana unchanged

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 12 this week to 1,918. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,590 rigs were exploring for oil and 328 for gas. A year ago there were 1,739… Continue reading →

Initial unemployment claims rise in Louisiana

The state labor department said first-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Oct. 11 increased to 2,473 from the previous week’s total of 2,081. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,513 initial claims. The department said the week marked the start of a new quarter for new claims. That… Continue reading →

Entergy’s Vermont Yankee shutdown to cost $1.24 billion

Entergy Corp.’s soon-to-close Vermont Yankee nuclear plant could cost up to $1.24 billion for a decommissioning of its reactor, and plant officials said they currently have about half that much in a fund dedicated to paying for that work. The figure was contained in a “site assessment study”… Continue reading →

Federal offshore oil lease sale set for March

Oil and gas leases for 40 million acres off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama will be offered by the federal government in a March sale at the Superdome in New Orleans, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Friday. The sale will include 7,611 blocks, covering about 40.5 million acres,… Continue reading →

CF Industries, Yara abandon partnership negotiations

Advocate staff file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Cranes dot the landscape in September at CF Industries' $2.1 billion expansion at its Donaldsonville area plant. CF industries and Norway's Yara International have abandoned merger talks.

Merger talks have been abandoned by CF Industries, which operates the nation’s largest nitrogen complex in Donaldsonville, and Norway’s Yara International. The deal would have created a massive player in the fertilizer industry. Producing fertilizer is an extremely energy-intensive process, and natural gas is a huge feedstock in the industry. A merger would have locked in cheap… Continue reading →

Entergy expecting lower third-quarter profits

The cost to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant will mean a lower third-quarter profit for Entergy Corp. The New Orleans-based utility announced Friday it expects third quarter as-reported earnings of approximately $1.26 per share, compared with $1.34 per share a year ago. Higher-than-expected decommissioning costs for Vermont Yankee will chop approximately 37… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge riverboats report slight revenue gain

Baton Rouge riverboat casinos’ September haul inched upward to $21.1 million, compared with $20.9 million a year ago. The Belle of Baton Rouge’s revenue was up $200,000 to $4.7 million. That helped offset slight declines at competitors L’Auberge and Hollywood Casino, which took in $11 million and $5.4 million, respectively, according to figures released Thursday by Louisiana… Continue reading →

Cleco earnings dip thanks to customer refunds

Pineville-based utility Cleco Corp. reported its second-quarter profit slipped to $36.6 million, or 60 cents per share, compared to $42 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago. However, those results include a customer-refund charge of $22.3 million, or 22 cents per share. Growth in the utility’s wholesale business drove higher revenues, according to Bruce Williamson, chairman, president and chief executive officer. Continue reading →

Pool Corp. reports record profit

Covington-based Pool Corp. reported third-quarter earnings climbed to a record $34.8 million, or 78 cents per share, compared to $32.3 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier. The swimming pool and products wholesaler boosted sales by 6 percent to a record $615.5 million. Those results were driven by pool replacements and remodeling, which fueled… Continue reading →

Soybean plant bug found in area parishes

A bug that likes to munch on soybean stems — first spotted in northeast Louisiana — has entered the local area. Since March, the kudzu bug has been found in East Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes, and in Concordia and West Carroll parishes, the LSU AgCenter reported Tuesday. The kudzu bug’s name is… Continue reading →

Salsbury’s Dodge buys land for future dealership

Salsbury’s Dodge City has purchased a 12.2 acre tract of land on Airline Highway for $3.5 million as an investment for a future dealership. “We have plans down the line to build down there, but nothing is etched in stone,” said Frank Lopinto, general manager of the auto dealership at 9550 Airline Highway. Salsbury’s Dodge City is… Continue reading →

Bluebonnet Palms site acquired

One of the last remaining sites in the Bluebonnet Palms development has been sold for $430,848. B&E Properties of Hammond bought the land in the development near the intersection of Bluebonnet Boulevard and Jefferson Highway in a deal that was filed with the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court’s office on Oct. 2. The seller was 4210… Continue reading →

Two downtown Baton Rouge restaurants opening

Two new downtown restaurants — one selling healthy dishes such as wraps, salads and smoothies, the other selling a variety of oysters — are opening within the next month. Derek Fitch, a partner with Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, told Downtown Development District Commissioners on Tuesday that the North Boulevard restaurant will have its grand opening Oct.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge chamber launches newcomer website

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has launched, a website designed for those considering relocating to the Capital Region and for residents interested in the community. The site will support recruiters and human resources professionals in their workforce development efforts. The site includes information about residential/housing options, job openings, leisure time activities and opportunities to network.… Continue reading →