Business Briefs for April 28

Ethan Allen relocates store to Perkins Road

Ethan Allen has relocated its Design Center in Baton Rouge to 10300 Perkins Road.

The 13,000-square-foot store has rooms of furniture and accessories on display and provides interior design services and customization. The Design Center has a touchscreen station where clients can preview their purchases and view room-planning software to see layout options.

The store is operated by Grand Gallery Inc., an authorized Ethan Allen retailer. Todd Grand is president.

For more information about the Ethan Allen Design Center in Baton Rouge, contact Grand at (225) 926-4650 or info@batonrouge.ethanallen.com. Ethan Allen has about 300 Design Centers in the U.S. and abroad. Its website is ethanallen.com.

BR General finishes burn unit phase

Renovations have been completed for the outpatient care area of Baton Rouge General’s Regional Burn Center.

The project completed the second of a three-phase renovation of the center. The redesign included a renovation of outpatient treatment rooms dedicated to the removal of tissue and application of burn dressings, a special procedure room, a rehabilitation gym, designated overnight room for patient families, family consultation room and nurse’s station. In addition, all treatment rooms have improved lighting, tiled walls and specialized equipment for wound care.

The center renovation already included a special waiting area for families. Phase 3 will be a renovation of the inpatient treatment facility, which will allow treatment in each patient room and a transition for patients from treatment to rehabilitation.

Port of South La. completes dock

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the Port of South Louisiana announced the completion of the port’s new dock extension, which will help to improve the port’s efficiency by allowing workers to handle two Panamex-sized ships at the same time.

DOTD contributed $14 million toward the project through its Port Priority Program. Another $1 million is budgeted for the project later this year.

The Port of South Louisiana, which stretches 54 miles along the Mississippi River, is the largest tonnage port district in the western hemisphere. The facilities within St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes handled over 278 million short tons of cargo in 2012.

Over 4,000 oceangoing vessels and 55,000 barges dock at the Port of South Louisiana each year, making it the top ranked in the country for export tonnage and total tonnage.

Business center plans counseling sessions

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University is working with its partners in the region to offer outreach counseling sessions throughout the Northshore.

The free, confidential, one-on-one meetings will be available by appointment only. The SBDC typically provides assistance in areas such as development of business plans, advertising and sales, inventory control, financial projections and cost analysis.

Appointments can be made with the host location at following numbers:

  • First Tuesday of each month: Amite City Chamber of Commerce, (985) 748-5537.
  • First Wednesday each month: Dixie Business Development Center in Denham Springs, (225) 665-0809.
  • First Thursday of each month: St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce in Covington, (985) 892-3216.
  • Second Wednesday of each month: Livingston Economic Development Council, (225) 686-3982.
  • Second Thursday of each month: St. Tammany Economic Development Foundation in Mandeville, (985) 809-7874.
  • Third Tuesday of each month: Livingston Parish Library, Watson and Livingston branches, (225) 686-2489.
  • Third Wednesday of each month: Northshore Technical Community College, FP Campus in Greensburg, (225) 222-4251.
  • Third Thursday of each month: Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce, (985) 735-5731.
  • Fourth Tuesday of each month: East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce in Slidell, (985) 643-5678.
  • Fourth Thursday of each month: Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce in Denham Springs, (225) 665-8155.

Consultants are also available for meetings by appointment at the LSBDC Southeastern main office in Hammond at 1514 Martens Drive. For more information, call (985) 549-3831 or visit www.lsbdc.org/slu.

Laurus Corp. finishes hotel renovation

Laurus Corp. has completed the $2.7 million renovation of the Ramada Suites Hotel at New Orleans Airport and branded the facility as a Holiday Inn Express.

The renovation included a complete overhaul of the guestrooms, public areas, exterior facade and landscaping.

The hotel features 3,000 square feet of meeting space, two on-site restaurants, a 189-car parking lot, and fitness and business centers.

Laurus Corp. acquired the 130-room hotel in March 2012. It is located at the entrance of James Business Park, a 200-acre business park offering more than two million square feet of commercial space. The hotel is adjacent to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Leadership group taking applications

The New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute is accepting applications for its 2013-14 class.

NORLI is a nine-month program designed to improve personal leadership skills and examine issues that are central to the advancement of the Greater New Orleans region.

All business, civic and public-sector leaders in the 10-parish region can apply at http://norli.org/application/. The deadline is May 3. There is a $35 non-refundable application fee.

There is a competitive application process for 40 spots among business, civic and community leaders, representing all races, genders, industries and communities in the region.

The NORLI curriculum will examine public policy, education, workforce development, diversity, criminal justice, public safety, environment and sustainability and will focus on how those issues affect economic development and quality of life.

The NORLI program consists of two overnight retreats and seven full-day sessions beginning Sept. 17 and ending June 7, 2014. Tuition is $2,500 and covers all expenses.

For more information, visit http://norli.org/application/ or call Nicole Palmer Woolfolk at (504) 527.6922 or email her at npalmer@norli.org.

Gaubert Oil installing CNG unit at station

Gaubert Oil Co. Inc. is installing a public, self-service compressed natural gas fueling facility for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles at its Texaco Station at 551 South Van Ave. in Houma.

The fuel is expected to be available in September, the company said.

The company said many operators of trucks, buses, delivery vehicles, municipal fleets and other commercial vehicles are switching to CNG to save on fuel costs and demand for the fuel is expected to increase.

The self-service fueling will be similar to what consumers are used to now when they fuel their vehicles, the company said.