Friday, 28 September 2012 13:21

Louisiana Business: $4M Block grants awarded; Exxon Mobil, October Fest, Franchise Expo

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landrieuToday’s Louisiana business news announces good news for the community..$4 million for block grants including bioinnovation, the expansion  of ExxonMobile, New Orleans grants, OctoberFest and important upcoming business events from the LTC and Port of New Orleans.



$4M in Grants

Louisiana received $4 million in disaster-related grant awards throughout southern Louisiana. The grants, which are intended to support a community’s long-term recovery, spur job creation, leverage private investment, and promote disaster resiliency, are administered through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Sen. Landrieu wrote to the EDA earlier this month asking them to prioritize these types of projects in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. 

“Hurricane Isaac showed us just how underfunded and neglected some areas of the state are in terms of flood protection,” Sen. Landrieu said. “These funds are greatly welcomed, especially in light of all we continue to learn from Isaac. I am, as always, committed to working on continued recovery from this storm and for improved flood protection throughout Louisiana.” 

“This funding will allow us to focus on a key growth area for the Greater New Orleans community,” President of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center Aaron Miscenich said. “We believe this partnership with GNO, Inc., and the EDA expands the existing programming of the BioInnovation Center and increases the effectiveness of our programming for all of our clients.” 

"GNO, Inc. is thrilled to receive this grant in conjunction with the New Orleans BioInnovation Center,” said President and CEO of Greater New Orleans Development Fund Michael Hecht.  "This funding will allow us to create new jobs in the Emerging Environmental Economy and position Louisiana as a hub for companies with the expertise to manage environmental issues related to energy, waste and water." 

“The Southern University System Foundation, Southern University at Baton Rouge, and the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center are excited to receive a $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration,” Southern University Vice President for Advancement Dr. Ernie Troy Hughes said. “The grant will fund the Southern University Center for Business Opportunity, which will house a small business incubator.  The Center will allow the University the opportunity minimize economic dislocations resulting from a major disaster by promoting job creation, supporting economic diversification for small business owners, help entrepreneurs to follow their dreams, and make a positive impact on the community.” 

For more information about the EDA, read its response to Sen. Landrieu here. 

Today’s grants provide: 

  • $1.8 million to the St. Mary Levee and Terrebonne Levee Foundations for the Bayou Chene Flood Control Infrastructure Improvement Plan. This EDA investment funds the design and engineering of improved flood control in south central Louisiana.  This project will also support business expansion in the region’s oil and gas, shipbuilding, and seafood industries. This project mitigates economic distress caused by frequent flooding in the region, and will lead to increased resiliency and business opportunities in the region. 


  • $1 million to Southern University for a Center for Business Opportunities and Disaster Recovery. The center will provide business incubation space, entrepreneurial training and outreach services to small businesses throughout the region. This project supports disaster resiliency through economic diversification. 
  • $1 million to the Baton Rouge Port Commission for a rail-line improvement near Port Allen. The project rebuilds the subgrade of a rail line that connects to Port Allen’s Inland Rivers Marine Terminal. This project will increase the resiliency of the line and ensure that it remains open during flooding events, allowing area industries to maintain supply lines and the shipment of goods.   
  • $360,000 to the New Orleans BioInnovation Center for the expansion of industries that rebuild wetlands, implement water management strategies, promote clean technologies, and perform other risk mitigation activities in southeastern Louisiana. This project will assist communities in mitigating the effects of disasters, such as Hurricane Isaac, and recovering and becoming more resilient by implementing workforce development partnerships, business development services, technology transfer activities, and regional marketing and branding activities.


Exxon Mobil

  • New facilities to include synthetic base stocks manufacturing and finished lube blending and packaging
  • More than $200 million investment to meet expected growth in product demand
  • Project will create construction and full-time jobs

-ExxonMobil is investing more than $200 million to expand its Baton Rouge chemical and lubricants plants to increase capacity for synthetic lubricant base stocks manufacturing and lubricants blending, packaging and storage.

The expansion will increase ExxonMobil’s worldwide capacity of synthetic esters and alkylated naphthalene by more than 25 percent to meet the demand for high-performance lubricants made with these advanced products. The project will include construction of a state-of-the-art blending center for synthetic aviation oil at ExxonMobil’s lubricant blending plant in Port Allen, La.

"ExxonMobil continues to invest in its operations in Louisiana,” said Paul Stratford, manager of the Baton Rouge chemical plant. “Over the past three years, the corporation’s capital expenditures in the state exceeded $930 million. These investments help create jobs and contribute to the economic growth of the state and the region.”

Construction is expected to begin in late 2012. The project will create more than 400 direct construction jobs and the facilities will provide 45 new full-time local jobs when production begins in 2014.

This expansion project will make ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge chemical plant the world’s largest producer of synthetic esters and alkylated naphthalene, which are used by producers and marketers of a wide variety of finished lubricants that include vehicle motor oils, gear oils and greases, as well as specialized lubricants for aviation, marine and industrial applications.

The new facilities in Baton Rouge will replace ExxonMobil’s existing base stock manufacturing and aviation lubricants blending, packaging and storage operations in Edison, New Jersey, which will continue production until the new facilities in Louisiana begin operation.

“The new aviation lubricants blending center reflects our continuing commitment to safe and reliable supply of aviation and other lubricant products,” said Julius Bedford, manager of ExxonMobil’s lubricant blending plant in Port Allen, La. The 8.3-acre facility will manufacture more than 145 lubricant products and have an annual throughput of more than 90 million gallons.

Propeller Club of US Port of New Orleans


New Orleans—The Propeller Club of the United States Port of New Orleans will host the annual international convention of the Propeller Club of the United States Oct. 2-6 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.


More than 150 trade and port executives from around the world will attend the four-day conference, which features panel discussions and keynote speeches from industry and government leaders.


“The Port of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans maritime community have welcomed this meeting with open arms,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “We believe there’s no better place in the world for industry leaders to gather, exchange ideas, network and, of course, enjoy the best cuisine and hospitality.”


New Orleans last played host to the international meeting in 1994.


U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana will deliver the keynote luncheon address Oct. 3, the convention’s first full day. The speech will be followed by an afternoon panel discussion focusing on river and coastal transportation. Participants include Bruce Lambert, executive director of the Institute for Trade and Transportation Study; Joe Pyne, chairman and CEO of Kirby Co.; and Merritt Lane, president and CEO of Canal Barge.


Louisiana State Sen. Conrad Appel and Rep. Walt Leger III, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives, will keynote the Oct. 4 luncheon and speak about recent legislation focusing on international commerce initiatives in Louisiana. In addition, a cruise industry panel will feature Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association and Jeff Krida, CEO of Great American Steamboat Co. International Trade and Shipping is the focus of another discussion Oct. 4, which features Eric Alber, line manager at Intermarine LLC, William Ralph, R.K. John & Associates Inc.; Richard Ungo, competitive intelligence specialist for the Panama Canal Authority; and Tony Bruno, senior vice president at Hapag Lloyd.


LaGrange will keynote the luncheon and awards presentation on Oct. 5, which also includes a well rounded program of industry experts. John Dane, president of Trinity Yachts; and Bill Baraldi, president of Buck Kreihs Marine, will focus on shipbuilding and repair that morning. In addition, Capt. Mike Rooney, president of New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association; Capt. Mike Lorino, president of Associated Branch Pilots; Michelle Spraul, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Bill Hanson, of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, will focus on issues facing the Lower Mississippi River and strategies for better funding and performing dredge operations in the future.

Director, External Affairs

Franchises with LTC

Meet successful franchisors at all investment levels who are interested in expanding in Louisiana.  Following brief presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with franchisors, funders and a FranNet Franchise Specialist to help determine whether franchising is right for you.  This is a "must-attend" event for anyone who wants to:

  • Be Your Own Boss
  • Build Long-term Equity
  • Diversify Income with a Second Business
  • Hear About Financing Options
  • Launch a Recession-resistant Business

Discover Which Opportunity is Right for You!

Always Best Care:  Leader in senior care and assisted living placement

College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving:  Junk removal and moving

Express Employment Professionals:  Helping people find jobs and helping business find the right people

Molly Maids:  Executive model, nationally known clean franchise

Mr. Handyman:  Home-based, home repair franchise, part of Service Brands International (SBI)

Protect Painters:  Home-based, residential and commercial painting franchsie (also part of SBI)

Red Wing Shoe Stores:  100+ year old company offering dealership model wiith world-renowned brand, financial assistance and strong support

Signs by Tomorrow:  Designing and building custom signs, digital printing, and custom graphics

Title Boxing Clubs:  Fitness Club featuring "Power Hour" workout that uses total body boxing and kickboxing workouts

Benetrends:  Helping entrepreneurs with proven and innovative suite of funding vehicles

Hosted by the LTC Business Opportunities Special Interest Group



October Fest--Shreveport

Sample a wide range of beers, from All-American favorites to one-of-a-kind homebrews, at the 4th Annual BREW, Shreveport-Bossier’s premier beer tasting event, 2-6 p.m., Oct. 20, in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza. BREW is a collaborative effort between the Mudbug Madness Festival and the Red River Revel Arts Festival, and is presented by Eldorado Resort Casino.

The tasting will feature more than 100 domestic, foreign and home brewed beers provided by local distributors and homebrew clubs. Visit for a complete list of featured beers. This year’s featured beers are being provided by Glazer’s Family of Companies, Eagle Distributing, Red River Beverage, the Malt Munching Mash Monsters, S.U.D.S. and the East Texas Brewer’s Guild.

Among the home brewers participating in this year’s BREW event is Jeff Pieper, of Bossier City. Earlier this year, Pieper’s Vienna Lager took home the Best in Show Award at the 2012 World Cup of Beer Homebrew Competition held in Oakland, Ca. Pieper’s creation beat out 639 other homebrews to take home the honor, making him the first non-Californian in the 18-year history of the competition to win Best in Show.

BREW will also feature live music and food from local restaurants like Market 104, The Vintage at Eldorado Casino, Monsour’s, Overtime Sports Bar, Bistro to Go and Brookshire’s.

Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased at Reserved tables seating 10 guests are available for $1,000 each and come with five reserved parking passes, extra goodies and reserved seating.

A Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Tasting Seminar will be held prior to the opening of BREW. This $25 seminar will offer first-hand tips on how color, clarity, aroma, temperature and effervescence are all dramatically enhanced with Spiegelau glasses versus the standard beer glass. Participants in the Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur Tasting Seminar will receive a four-piece set of Spiegelau glasses to keep. Seminar tickets are also available at  

More information about Oktoberfest 2012 is available online at

Deutches Haus--October Fest 

Deutches Haus, chartered in 1928, exists to promote German culture and heritage in the greater New Orleans area.  Forced from its longtime location downtown by the planned construction of a new hospital, the Deutsches Haus makes its temporary home at 1023 Ridgewood Drive in Metairie, a venue too small to accommodate the massive crowds that flock to Oktoberfest each year.  In cooperation with the City of Kenner, Deutsches Haus leaders are excited to hold this year's event at Rivertown.

New Orleans block grants 

Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced 10 grant recipients as part of the “Love Your Block” program, which invites community groups to identify neighborhood revitalization projects and develop volunteer-fueled solutions. Since the program was announced in March, 104 groups have applied. Ten awards were made in the spring, for a total of 20 total grants awarded this year.

“Love Your Block” is based upon a Cities of Service model whereby the Mayor’s Office encourages citizens to take on small-scale projects to improve and beautify their neighborhoods.  Funding for the program comes from a $10,000 gift from the Home Depot Foundation, awarded to the Landrieu Administration’s ServeNOLA initiative through ServiceNation, an organization that promotes volunteerism across America. Each recipient receives a Home Depot gift card valued at $500.

“It’s exciting that so many community groups are stepping forward with ideas to revitalize our neighborhoods, block by block,” said Mayor Landrieu. “This grant fosters a sense of community and a commitment to service that will have lasting benefits in our City.”

So far 1,012 volunteers have worked 217 hours to complete the first  "Love Your Block" projects, including neighborhood clean-ups, graffiti removal, landscaping, and improving community gardens.

Members of the Aurora United Methodist Church in Algiers partnered with Boy Scout Troop 4 to build 11 mini libraries in neighborhoods throughout New Orleans. The libraries stand near sidewalks and offer community members the opportunity to borrow books for free or leave a book for others to enjoy.

The Edgewood Park Neighborhood Association worked with Beacon of Hope to improve the neutral ground along Franklin Avenue. Thirty nine volunteers worked together to plant raised garden beds that enliven two Edgewood Park neighborhood signs.

Recipients and their respective projects awarded grants in this second round of applications include:

  • DeSaix Area Neighborhood Association: Bench and landscaping along Bayou St. John at Moss Street and Parkview Place.
  • Confetti Kids Inc.: Mulch and protect shade trees, Delcazal Park, Opelousas Street in Algiers.
  • Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association: Improvements to an existing community orchard at Gallier Street and North Roman Street in the Upper Ninth Ward.
  • Broadmoor Improvement Association: Plant trees at Washington Street at Broad Street in Broadmoor.
  • Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative: Create a community garden and mural at Jane Place in Mid-City.
  • Village de L’Est Improvement Association: Landscape entrances to subdivision, Michoud Boulevard, Village de l’Est.
  • CDC 58:12, Inc: Neighborhood clean-up and landscaping on Louisa Street in the Desire neighborhood.
  • Resurrection After Exoneration Community Garden Initiative: Improvements to new community garden, Columbus Street at Marais Street, 7th Ward.
  • Benjamin Banneker Elementary and Middle School: Improve landscaping at Benjamin Banneker School on Burdette Street in the Uptown Triangle Neighborhood.
  • NO/AIDS Task Force: Create a garden for a community kitchen at South Claiborne Avenue and Jefferson Avenue in Uptown.

ServeNOLA managed a competitive grant process, soliciting applications from neighborhood groups throughout the city. Eligible groups are comprised of at least five members who are not in the same family and who live in New Orleans. The project must take place in New Orleans and be completed by October 30, 2012.

Proposed projects were judged on viability, sustainability and inclusiveness. Applications had to provide realistic project goals and a budget, as well as plans for obtaining supplies, for requesting additional assistance from other sources, and for maintaining the project in the future. Groups awarded a grant will be required to submit a post-project report to the City that includes project details, photographs, and receipts from Home Depot.

ServeNOLA will also provide recipients with technical assistance in planning and budgeting. Work must be completed within 30 days of receiving the grant.

Those interested in learning more about the “Love Your Block” program or to get further information can call ServeNOLA at 504-658-4964 or visit

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