"Small-business owners faced an uphill battle at the federal level in 2014 with the uncertainty created by Obamacare, overreaching by federal agencies and the removal of important tools for small business, like Section 179 expensing. However, at the state level, NFIB was successful in fending off efforts to raise the state minimum wage and limit business owners’ ability to ask about the backgrounds of potential employees. "
Dawn Starns, Louisiana director of the lobbying group National Federation of Independent Business
The NFIB Monthly Small Business Optimism Index for December 2014 jumped 2 points, placing it just slightly lower than its historical average pre-recession. Expectations for business conditions six months out rose substantially – 16 percentage points – while expectations for real sales volumes rose by 5 points.
AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon Opens
The first AC Hotel by Marriott in the United States opened Dec. 8 at the Cotton Exchange building at 221 Carondelet St. The eight-story, 220-room hotel includes event venues for up to 160 people and showcases the modern, urban look seen in other AC Hotels – 72 of which are spread throughout European cities like Barcelona and Milan.
Marriott is set to open 30 more AC Hotels within the next three years throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Offerings in Kansas City, Mo. and Miami Beach will be the first to debut early this year.
Renaissance Publishing Named JEDCO’s 2014 Small Business of the Year
Renaissance Publishing, publishers of eight magazines – including Biz New Orleans, New Orleans Magazine, St. Charles Avenue and Louisiana Life – took home the award for 2014 Small Business of the Year at JEDCO’s annual luncheon Dec. 2 at the Hilton New Orleans Airport. Other winners included Dottie Stephenson, who received the JEDCO Business Retention and Expansion Award, and Jefferson Chamber President Todd Murphy, who was awarded the JEDCO Chairman’s Champion Award.
Small Business Expo and Seminar Jan. 17
Score, a nationwide nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses for 50 years, will host the New Orleans Small Business Expo – “101 Ways to Grow Your Business,” Jan. 17, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Metairie.
The event will include multiple seminars on topics such as alternative funding sources, tax mistakes to avoid and a social marketing workshop, as well as the chance to meet various small business entrepreneur success stories. Current partners include: Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Paychex, Constant Contact, 5 Stones Media, Trufund Financial Services and the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.
New Employment Search Option Now Online
On Dec. 9, New Orleans-based entrepreneur Eric Bernstein officially launched WERKLY, a free website and mobile app marketplace that allows users to find work, or employees, in every field of business.
WERKLY uses an advanced search and filter system that incorporates social connections, user ratings and reviews, performance indicators, and advanced profiles. The goal is to enable users to quickly hire people they know, in their town, who have the skills to do the job at a reasonable and competitive rate.
After 15 years producing concerts and runway shows for luxury brands and hotels, Bernstein has found early success with WERKLY, which already boasts a profile base of over 1,200 people and is rapidly gaining ground in New Orleans, Detroit and New York.
Chevron Strikes Oil at Jack/St. Malo Project in the Gulf of Mexico
Chevron Corp. announces that crude oil and natural gas production has begun at their new Jack/St. Malo facility. The Jack and St. Malo fields are located within 25 miles of each other in approximately 7,000 feet of water in the Walker Ridge area, approximately 280 miles south of New Orleans.
“The Jack/St. Malo project delivers valuable new production and supports our plan to reach 3.1 million barrels per day by 2017,” says George Kirkland, vice chairman and executive vice president, Upstream, Chevron Corp.
Chevron’s facility is the largest of its kind in the Gulf of Mexico and has a production capacity of 170,000 barrels of oil and 42 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, with the potential for future expansion.
IBERIABANK signs on as title sponsor of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week through 2017.
About to enter its seventh year, NOEW is an eight-day event that engages entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, nonprofits, students and professionals to support growing businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit. The event is produced by The Idea Village and is scheduled this year from March 20 – 27. NOEW is scheduled to include more than 75 different events, drawing an estimated 10,000 people.
“IBERIABANK sees great value in New Orleans Entrepreneur Week because it has become a powerful platform for the larger entrepreneurial community,” says Daryl G. Byrd, president and CEO of IBERIABANK Corp.
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