"Since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in early 2008, Louisiana's economy has outperformed the South and U.S. by any reasonable measure. For example, Louisiana's job performance has been better than that of nearly every other Southern state since January 2008, and employment levels in Louisiana have grown faster than the South and the U.S. since the end of the national recession.
"For the last three years in a row, U.S. Census figures indicate Louisiana's population has grown faster than the U.S., and our state has experienced four years in a row of net population in-migration. Additionally, Louisiana's unemployment rate has remained well below that of the South and the U.S. every month since January 2008.
"A variety of national publications recognized Louisiana's economic progress in 2011, ranking Louisiana as 'State of the Year,' LED as the best-performing state economic development organization in the U.S., LED FastStart™ as the best state workforce training program in the U.S., and Louisiana's business climate as the most improved in the U.S.
"Louisiana now stands at its highest position ever on every national ranking of state business climates, including those published by Area Development, Beacon Hill Institute, Business Facilities, Chief Executive, CNBC, Forbes, Pollina Corporate Real Estate and Site Selection.
"Louisiana again produced a record year for business development, securing a variety of significant business development wins in both traditional industries and Louisiana's new target industry sectors, such as digital media and alternative energy.
"In 2011, LED secured game-changing projects that include Fortune 500 CenturyLink's headquarters expansion in Monroe; Gameloft's major game development studio in New Orleans; Ronpak's establishment of new manufacturing operations in Shreveport; multibillion-dollar expansions announced by Cheniere Energy and Sasol Ltd. in Southwest Louisiana; Schumacher Group's headquarters expansion in Lafayette; the Sundrop Fuels announcement of a biofuel refinery in Alexandria; and the Electronic Arts expansion of its global quality assurance center in Baton Rouge on the LSU campus.
"These are just a few examples of the business development wins that we secured in 2011. In fact, dozens of companies announced expansions or relocations in 2011 in Louisiana, launching projects that are projected to create more than 20,500 new direct and indirect jobs, $18 billion in new capital investment, and hundreds of millions of dollars in new sales for small businesses across Louisiana.
"As the national economy looks to continue its recovery in 2012, Louisiana is well-positioned to secure a large share of new business investment projects in the U.S. Additionally, Louisiana's economy will experience significant job growth from projects announced in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
"In the year ahead, LED will pursue targeted initiatives to enhance Louisiana's economic competitiveness; retain Louisiana's existing economic driver firms; support Louisiana's small businesses; cultivate attractive development sites; and recruit new growth industries to Louisiana.
Unemployment Insurance Claims
Initial UI claims for the week ending Dec. 10, 2011, decreased to 4,103 from 4,789 for the week ending Dec. 3, 2011. Continued UI weeks claimed for the week ending Dec. 10, 2011, decreased to 42,226 from the previous week's total of 43,656.
The State Bond Commission approved over $48 million for projects statewide and $11 million in savings by refinancing existing public debt at its December 15th meeting, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.
"The Bond Commission approved statewide funding for various improvements to infrastructure and public facilities," said Treasurer Kennedy. "We also saved the taxpayers millions by signing off on refinancings of public debt that will save money on two projects in Lafayette and Livingston Parishes."
Among the individual projects the Bond Commission approved are:
- East Baton Rouge Parish, City of Zachary, $9.3 million: To construct and acquire improvements and extensions to the sewer system.
- East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana Community Development Authority, Parish of East Baton Rouge Road Improvement Project, $38 million: To construct new public roads and streets and/or the widening of public roads and streets.
- East Carroll Parish, Lake Providence Port Commission, $363,000 Promissory Note: To purchase equipment.
- Natchitoches Parish, Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission, $500,000 Certificates of Indebtedness: To construct, acquire and improve an office building.
The Commission also approved over $11 million in savings for local government by refinancing existing debts. Among the refinancings approved are:
- Lafayette Parish, Waterworks District South, $551,000 in savings.
- Livingston Parish, Denham Springs Economic Development District, Bass Pro Shops Project, $10.5 million in savings.
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment has made three student games available for download on their website, TheAIE.us. The three games available are Clo, Clicktraption, and Spelunking Club Session.
AIE has recently opened a campus in Lafayette at the Louisiana Immeresive Techniologies Enterprise (LITE) Center, with campuses also in Seattle and Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, Australia.
About the games:
Clo is a puzzle platform game where you control the druid Clo- on her journey to recover an artefact lost from her tribe.
In Clicktraption you take control of a maintenance worker inside a diabolical machine that has turned against you.
Spelunking Club Session
Spelunking Club Session is a lighthearted, tongue in cheek game about creating your ultimate underground night club.
To download these games, visit http://www.theaie.us/student-games
The Department of Finance, Bureau of Revenue, will hold its 2012 lottery for Mardi Gras fixed locations at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2012 in the lobby of the Civil District Court Building. Fixed location permits allow individuals to sell sandwiches, cooked foods, drinks, candy, nuts, confections, and novelties.
Mardi Gras season will commence Friday, February 10, 2012 and conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.
Citizens interested in obtaining a permit must register for the lottery with the Bureau of Revenue between Tuesday, January 17 and Friday, January 20, 2012. All participants must submit both a completed Official Lottery Registration Card and a sales tax deposit in the amount of $1,000.00 in the form of a certified check or money order made payable to the City of New Orleans.
The registration deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 20, 2012. Registration materials may be delivered in person or by mail to the Bureau of Revenue, City Hall, 1300 Perdido St., Room 1W15, New Orleans, LA 70112. Mailed registration materials must be received no later than Friday, January 20, 2012 (regardless of the postmark date).
Only those registration materials received during the designated period will be accepted and used to prepare the Official Lottery Entry Card. Participants need not be present at the January 26 lottery. Participants not selected for a fixed location will be refunded their deposit. Lottery placements are non-transferable.
Those citizens selected in the lottery must attend the Fixed Location Selection Process at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, 2012 in the Bureau of Revenue at City Hall, Room 1W15. Names will be called according to their placement on the lottery board. A valid ID is required. Participants unable to attend the selection process must authorize a representative to attend in their place in writing ahead of time with the Bureau of Revenue. Representatives must also a have valid picture ID. Each participant is allowed 10 minutes to select one fixed location.
Those individuals interested in obtaining Walkers Permits may go to the Bureau of Revenue office the week of February 8, 2012 to obtain the necessary permits. Walkers Permits are for those interested in selling items in a roaming location.
More information regarding both fixed location and Walkers Permits can be found on the City’s website at http://www.nola.gov/BUSINESSES/Bureau%20of%20Revenue/. This information can also be found in the Mardi Gras Booklet which will be distributed in the Bureau of Revenue, Room 1W15.
Baton Rouge Area chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced that it has received an American Graphic Design award and a silver award in the Creativity International Awards competition for its 2010 annual report. Catalyst, BRAC’s quarterly publication reporting on the Creative Capital Agenda, also received an American Graphic Design award. The annual report and quarterly Catalysts are produced in partnership with Object 9, a Baton Rouge area-based marketing and graphic design firm.
“The 2010 annual report continues to be recognized nationally by marketing organizations, economic development groups, and site selection consultants,” commented Adam Knapp, President and CEO of BRAC. “Having this report gain such broad exposure draws attention not only to the creativity of our organization but to our region. Congratulations to Object 9 and our marketing team for creating such an effective piece.”
As 2010 came to a close, so did BRAC’s five-year economic development campaign, The Campaign for a Greater Baton Rouge. According to Southern Business and Development magazine, the Capital Region “…is the new economic development rock star of the South.” This quote was the inspiration and basis for BRAC’s annual report which recapped the many achievements of the overall campaign. The theme was executed throughout the publication by integrating various musical themes and styles into the design from hard rock to flower power.
The American Graphic Design awards are granted annually by the editors of Graphic Design USA. The forty-year-old competition honors exceptional new work in a variety of categories and is open to anyone in the graphic design industry. There are twenty-three different categories available for submission.
The Creativity International Awards is an annual worldwide awards competition spanning various print, web, and advertising categories. The competition was originally a traveling exhibition in conjunction with Art Direction Magazine. Today, the winning submissions are compiled into a book to highlight the latest cutting-edge designs.