Thursday, 04 June 2015 18:28

Biz Shorts: Jaws, Chehardy Sherman, Sage NOLA, BRAC, ZEA'S, Bella Ridge

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sagenolaLouisiana Biz News for today:  James M. Williams join Chehardy Sherman law firm, Bella Ridge Apts,  BRAC policy paper, SAGE NOLA, Jaws on the Mississippi, ZEA'S, more

The well-known and long-established Chehardy Sherman law firm took a major step for the future today as its partners announced that James M. Williams has joined the firm, which has been rebranded Chehardy Sherman Williams. Attorney Inemesit U. O’Boyle has joined Williams as a partner at the firm.

Managing Partner Lawrence E. Chehardy said the firm will focus on its traditional strengths and dedicate its resources to supporting Williams’ expertise. “This is a big step for us to become a true regional law firm. The addition of James Williams cannot be understated. He has an impeccable record in the areas of personal injury and complex business litigation, and the firm has the resources to support him in ways that will enable him to excel even further,” he said.
“Perhaps Jefferson Parish’s best-known firm, Chehardy Sherman’s record of supporting its attorneys in complex litigation was a big factor in my joining the firm,” said Williams. “I am excited to merge my team’s talents, experience and litigation prowess with Chehardy Sherman’s sterling reputation and their army of highly skilled attorneys. Together, we will be a formidable force on behalf of our clients who are involved in high stakes litigation that is too important to leave to chance. Whether it is a life-changing personal injury or a ‘bet the company’ lawsuit, Chehardy Sherman Williams is perfectly positioned to deliver victories for our clients in their toughest legal battles.”
With the addition of Williams, the firm will also be able to focus on a wider geographic region.
“Williams is an outstanding attorney with deep roots and a deep commitment to New Orleans,” said David R. Sherman, major partner. “He was born and raised in New Orleans, is a product of Orleans Parish Public Schools and has been active in the New Orleans community his entire life. He has served as a judge (pro tempore) in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, a board member of New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, vice president of the New Orleans Bar Association and past president of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society - a specialty bar association to which New Orleans’ African American lawyers and judges belong.”


1st Lake Properties, Inc. will host its Grand Opening Party for their newest luxury apartment community, Bella Ridge Apartments in River Ridge onSaturday, June 6, 2015. Everyone is welcome to come by for food, door prizes and model tours starting at 11am. This promotional kick-off event allows for current residents and the next 50 future residents to be entered into a drawing for 6-months free rent among other leasing incentives such as $99 deposits, waived fees and reduced rents on select apartments. Broadcasting on location will be Voodoo 104.1 radio.

Bella Ridge is a luxury, pet-friendly apartment community offering large one and two bedroom apartments with FREE direct access parking garage. Contemporary amenities such as master baths with garden tubs and separate showers, soaking tanning ledges at the pool, smart home packages, poolside food delivery, a free bike share program and laundry valet make this community one to see.

Bella Ridge Apartments are open for touring 7 days a week. The address is 1101 Dickory Ave., River Ridge, LA 70123. For more information, please call (504)731-2969 or visit online


The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released a public policy commentary urging the legislature to preserve economic incentives and resist arbitrary across-the-board cuts in seeking revenue-raising measures. The toolkit of programs used to support economic development represents less than five percent of the total amount calculated in the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s tax exemption budget report. Major projects announced or under development statewide are conservatively estimated at $60 billion and as high as $100 billion, with initiated and expected project investments in the Baton Rouge Area ranging from $15 billion to as much as $23.7 billion by the Greater Baton Rouge Business Alliance.

The BRAC commentary highlights the sweeping and permanent nature of some of the measures under consideration by the legislature, which could severely hamper Louisiana’s job-creating momentum. The complete analysis appears below.

Public Policy Commentary:
In filling budget hole, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

By Michael DiResto
BRAC Senior Vice President for Economic Competitiveness

It was difficult to overlook the disconnect between two separate actions leading the news from the state Capitol on Tuesday: the first, a report from the Louisiana Workforce Commission documenting continued private sector job growth in the state, including a new and unprecedented high level in the Baton Rouge area; the second, the passage in a state Senate committee of a number of revenue-raising bills, including ones that significantly curtail the very type of economic development incentives that have helped power the state’s job-producing momentum.

Taking a closer look at that Workforce report, it notes that “total nonfarm employment for the Baton Rouge [area] was estimated at 400,400 for April 2015. This shows a gain of 1,000 jobs over the month and an increase of 7,700 jobs over the year. The total nonfarm employment level is the highest for the month of April in the history of the series.” While government reports rarely generate excitement, the milestone aspect of this one certainly merits it, showing Baton Rouge-area nonfarm jobs now surpassing the 400,000 level. Also, it's not all the time that a government update uses language like "highest in the history" of the report. But just as promising is that the Baton Rouge region is showing solid gains over a broad number of sectors, which demonstrates the kind of diversification we want, as well as growth.

If today’s economic picture looks impressive, the outlook for tomorrow and beyond appears even more so. Major project investments either announced or already underway statewide have been pegged conservatively at $60 billion and as high as $100 billion in the coming years, with initiated and expected project investments in the Baton Rouge area alone ranging from $15 billion to as high as $23.7 billion by the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance. Along with these investments, Dr. Loren Scott projects that the Baton Rouge area itself could see the addition of 21,700 jobs over the next two years.

As BRAC has helped to point out before:

Tax incentives play a vital role in this success. While projects are rarely determined solely on incentives, these programs do play a critical dual role of first attracting attention to a state that has historically been ignored, and second, of providing a difference in the final decision against stiff competition, like Texas.

Which brings us back to the state government budget, now working its way through the state Senate. Filling a $1.6 billion budget hole is understandably a difficult task confronting legislators, particularly as they grapple with efforts to protect vulnerable priorities like higher education and health care. What’s troublesome, however, is the sweeping and permanent nature of some of the measures making their way through the legislative process, which, if passed into law, could severely hamper Louisiana’s job-creating momentum.

Of particular concern are HB 629 and HB 635, which impose across-the-board cuts of up to 28 percent for numerous tax credits and rebates. While applying these tax changes across-the-board seems, on the surface, like an exercise in fairness, in reality, just like across-the-board spending cuts, they have the practical effect of arbitrariness – treating all programs the same regardless of their importance, performance, or priority.

Much of the focus with regard to state government’s fiscal “structural imbalance” has fallen on the numerous tax incentives, exemptions, and rebates present in the tax code, but it’s important to note that, contrary to a growing misperception, the toolkit of programs used to spur state economic development represent less than five percent of the total amount calculated in the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s tax exemption budget report.

While BRAC appreciates the need to review and modify certain incentives, and has even supported tightening eligibility and duration requirements for the Enterprise Zone and Angel Investor tax credits, we strongly encourage lawmakers to reconsider including these and other instruments that make up Louisiana’s vital economic development toolkit in these bills.

For reasons, we echo those recently expressed by Michael Hecht, CEO of our partner organization, Greater New Orleans, Inc.:

First, in addressing the public deficit of today, we should not pull the rug out from underneath the private sector growth that is laying the foundation for tomorrow.
Second, whatever the budget solution in 2015, it should not complicate or preclude desperately needed structural reforms in 2016 — we shouldn’t tie the hands of the next governor and legislature.

In addition to the constitutionality questions some have raised about these bills having passed the House without a two-thirds vote of support, HB 629 and HB 635, by including economic development incentives within their sweeping purview and by making the tax changes permanent, do indeed fail to heed these two common-sense concerns of Mr. Hecht and the broader business community across the state.

And of course, of primary concern is to safeguard existing and future opportunities for every Louisiana citizen seeking a new job or a better one. To that end, while there’s still time, we hope that legislators will instead take a more careful, targeted, and selective approach, and to consider temporary changes that avoid both constitutional difficulties and long-term negative economic and fiscal consequences.

Like a young child taking her first confident steps, Louisiana’s job-producing economy shows extraordinary promise, with the Baton Rouge region leading the way in job growth over the last year and breaking historic milestones. These jobs not only represent better quality of life and opportunity for our citizens, but also point the way toward increased economic activity that will itself generate more tax revenue for state coffers. As legislators work hard to fill the government budget hole, pouring as many solutions as possible into the mix, we urge them not to stymie this promising future by throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


This Father’s Day, treat dad to Zea and get a free four-pack of Zea signature brews onSunday, June 21.

“We are encouraging our guests to put some hops back in dad’s step this Father’s Day with a free four-pack of handcrafted brew,” said Nancy Jeansonne, director of marketing for Zea Rotisserie & Grill. “Cheers to all dads this Father’s Day. We hope you dine with us to enjoy delicious food and free beer this year.”

The four-pack includes one of each style of the handcrafted beers: Clearview Golden Lager, Zea Amber Lager, Category 5 American Pale Ale and Pontchartrain Porter.

• Clearview Golden Lager: Crafted for a lighter, crisper taste, this German Kolsch style beer is brewed with wheat and barley and is more full bodied than domestics.

• Zea Amber Lager: This Vienna style amber beer has a delicious toasty malt flavor. Uniquely different from the general "amber lagers," this beer is the next one up for those who wish a little more body than the Kolsch.

• Category 5 American Pale Ale: Aromatic cascade hops finish the bold full bodied beer. Those who are familiar with Pale Ales should enjoy this one.

• Pontchartrain Porter: Made with English Malts, this dark ale has subtle flavors of chocolate and coffee.

The Free Beer for Dad gift is available to all fathers who dine in at Zea on June 21 with a minimum purchase of two entrees, while supplies last. Participating locations include the Greater New Orleans Area, Slidell, Covington, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

All Zea locations are now taking reservations for parties of seven or more and feature call ahead waiting for a pleasant dining experience. For more information about Father’s Day, Zea’s new vibe and to view the full menu, please Hungry fans can also join in on the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and [email protected] #FeelGoodFlavor.
Zea Rotisserie & Grill is a polished, casual restaurant where friends can meet up, share good food and have a great time. Zea is the brainchild of Hans Limburg, Gary Darling, and Greg Reggio. The first location opened in Harahan, LA in June 1997 and now has grown to locations in the Greater New Orleans Area and beyond including Slidell, LA; Lafayette, LA; Baton Rouge, LA, and Mobile, AL. Zea offers modern comfort food, including signature menu items, such as the Roasted Corn Grits and Thai Ribs. For more information about Zea locations and menu, visit or


Can you dig it?  Jaws on the Mississippi

WHAT: Movie on the Mississippi: New Orleans Film Society screening of "Jaws"

WHERE: Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza
500 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans

WHEN: Friday, June 5
8:15 p.m.
Free and open to the public

In partnership with the New Orleans Film Society, guests can end the evening with a free screening of the original summer blockbuster, “Jaws.” This riverfront 40th anniversary screening will include complimentary popcorn provided by Popcorn Bistro. Guests are encouraged to bring their own seating.

No ice chests, skateboards, bicycles, pets or glass are allowed on Spanish Plaza during events.


Sage Summit 2014 was impressive. From the caliber of speakers to the technology innovations showcased, the energy never ceased. Get the scoop on 2014’s event.
We’d love for you to join us in New Orleans this summer for Sage Summit 2015 as we share our latest tech updates with the Sage ecosystem and empower SMBs to tell their stories.
The details:
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
When: July 27-30
Please plan to join us Monday, July 27 and depart Wednesday, July 29. We will provide more specifics around timing once your attendance is confirmed.
Why attend?
Not only will you be immersed in exciting technology updates from Sage, you’ll have the opportunity to chat with our executive team and interact with our customer, accountant, and partner communities. And trust us; you don’t want to miss the top-notch speakers we’ve lined up!
Plus, we’ll be happy to reimburse you for expenses related to attending. We will provide more specifics around this after your attendance is confirmed.
Are you ready? Please email Amanda DeFuria as soon as possible, as spots are limited. We’ll be updating our media attendees with all the specifics leading up to the conference, but if you have questions in the meantime, please let us know.
Check out for more information and follow the conversation @Sage_Summit and #SageSummit for more information. Stay tuned!




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