“Retailers are capitalizing on online shopping this holiday season, attempting to attract customers through online-only promotions and sales. The effort is proof of the central role the Internet plays in our society and evidence that Americans without a connection cannot fully participate,” said Dawn Burkett-Johnson, Executive Director of Louisiana Retailers Association. “The Internet takes us to the world’s marketplace, somewhere that every Louisiana resident should be able to visit and utilize for price comparison, as well as deeper access to inventory.”
Nationally, Cyber Monday sales have more than doubled since the $484 million recorded in 2005, and an estimated 90 percent of retailers offered special online promotions for the day in 2011, according to Shop.org.
In Deloitte’s 26th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends, there are a few things to note. 27% of US smartphone users will use the device during in-store holiday shopping. 59% will use smartphones to compare prices and 45% will use them to shop at online stores.
Without broadband, thousands of potential shoppers, many from rural communities in Louisiana, will miss out on these promotions and cost savings. Louisiana ranks 35th among all states in broadband access among all states, according to the National Broadband Map. And 25 percent of households report no Internet use, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Small businesses saw a 10-percent increase in sales on Cyber Monday, according to a 2008 report from Network Solutions. Businesses in areas of Louisiana without Internet access will miss out on any similar bump in shopping activity.
“During America’s busiest shopping season, broadband is allowing small businesses in Louisiana to compete online and attract consumers with sales, discounts and special deals,” said Burkett. “Strong small businesses are the foundation of the U.S. economy and broadband is the foundation for our small businesses.”
John Young and Health of Jefferson Parish
Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and Peoples Health are proud to present the 2011 State of the Parish Address featuring Parish President John F. Young, Jr. and Council Chairman Chris Roberts.
The luncheon will be held on Monday, December 12 at the Crowne Plaza Airport hotel located at 2829 Williams Blvd. in Kenner. Registration and networking will begin at 11:15 a.m., with the luncheon and program starting at 12:00 noon. Individual tickets for the luncheon are $40 for Chamber members and $50 for non-members. Reserved tables and sponsorships are also available.
This annual program, coordinated by the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, is an opportunity to hear the Parish President and Council Chairman reporting on Jefferson Parish accomplishments during the previous year and some of the challenges for the future, focusing on the concerns and opportunities related to the business community.
Real estate sales
Pending home sales rose strongly in October and remain above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of REALTORS.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, surged 10.4 percent to 93.3 in October from 84.5 in September and is 9.2 percent above October 2010 when it stood at 85.5. The data reflects contracts but not closings.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said improved contract activity is a hopeful sign. "Home sales have been plodding along at a sub-par level while interest rates are hovering at record lows and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years. We hope this is indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions," he said.
"Many consumers are recognizing that home buyers in the past two years have had one of the lowest default rates in history. Moreover, continued inventory declines are another healthy sign for the housing market," Yun added. …From Louisiana Board of Reators
Clean water penalties could restore and build
The Clean Water Act penalties from last year’s BP oil disaster could kick start the launch of a long-term investment in ecosystem restoration and create jobs that would benefit at least 140 businesses with nearly 400 employee locations in 37 states, including more than 260 in the Gulf Coast and nearly 60 in Florida, according to a new Duke University study. The report--“RESTORING THE GULF COAST: New Markets for Established Firms,” funded by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation to Environmental Defense Fund--is based on a sample of 140 firms linked to coastal restoration projects already undertaken or completed.
The Gulf region’s critical economic role, and the extent to which this role depends on the delta ecosystem, is evident in the following assets provided by the Gulf region:
- 33% of the nation’s seafood harvest (National Marine Fisheries Service, 2011)
- $34 billion per year in tourism (Oxford Economics, 2010)
- 90% of the nation’s total offshore crude oil and natural gas production (Energy Information Administration, 2011)
- 4,000 offshore oil platforms and 33,000 miles of pipeline (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, 2011; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2010)
- 10 of the nation’s 15 largest shipping ports, by cargo volume (American Association of Port Authorities, 2009)
Source: Environmental Defense Fund,
Louisiana Tech associate dean, professor to be honored at White House
RUSTON, La. – Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean for the College of Engineering and Science and the Wayne and Juanita Spinks Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Louisiana Tech University, is being recognized Friday at the White House for her work with and contributions to advancing women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The leadership of Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) selected Carpenter to represent them at the White House event. WEPAN is a national organization that works to transform culture in engineering education to attract, retain, and graduate women.
Each week, the Obama Administration highlights a group of Americans, businesses or organizations who embody the concept of “Innovate, Educate, and Build.” On Friday, the White House Office of Public Engagement will host an event to honor those who are “Winning the Future” by helping to recruit girls and retain women in the STEM disciplines.
“I am so pleased that President Obama is highlighting the importance of changing stereotypes and sharing best practices on recruiting and retaining more women in the engineering and science workforce,” said Carpenter. “Resolving these issues is central to our nation's ability to meet future