Week in Review, Jan. 18-22: New Era Begins
Here, from staff and wire reports, are the week’s business news highlights:
Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” as he took the helm of a deeply divided nation and inherited a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors. Biden’s inauguration came at a time of national tumult and uncertainty, a ceremony of resilience as the hallowed American democratic rite unfurled at a U.S. Capitol battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks ago. … Meanwhile, here’s the impact of a Joe Biden presidency on money matters. The balance of Congress has shifted following the Georgia runoffs, providing possible momentum for President Biden’s agenda. A new COVID check, taxes, health care — it’s all on the line.
Deals and Debuts
Metal Supermarkets, a supplier of small-quantity metals, announced today that it has signed a franchise agreement to bring a metal supply option to businesses and consumers in the greater New Orleans area. Metal Supermarkets New Orleans will offer more than 8,000 types, shapes and grades of metal cut to each customer’s specifications. Metal Supermarkets wants to be the one-stop-shop for manufacturers, machinists, repair shops, tool and die shops, hospitals, hotels, universities, schools, homeowners, artists and hobbyists.
New Orleans-based tech company IDScan.net has partnered with VAXSYS Technologies, Inc. to develop two vaccine-related software applications: an “enroller” app for those administering the vaccines, and a screener app for anyone requiring proof of vaccination. “We’re hoping this innovative technology will help our world fully reopen quicker and safer,” said Denis Petrov, co-founder and CEO of IDScan.net, a provider of identity verification and information gathering solutions. “We are proud to work with VAXSYS to develop apps that will help airlines, restaurants, schools, offices, gyms and all those that have had to limit access to welcome people through their doors again with confidence.”
Bogalusa Mill Gets $52M Facelift
Gov. John Bel Edwards and International Paper Bogalusa Mill Manager Bernie Chascin announced the company plans to invest up to $52.2 million in capital to increase the efficiency of the mill, which has been a manufacturing mainstay of Washington Parish for more than a century. Through the project, International Paper plans to retain the mill’s 492 direct jobs that provide an average annual salary of more than $86,000, plus benefits. In Bogalusa, IP operates a paper mill and an associated corrugated box plant. The modernization program would enhance the paper mill’s efficiency by upgrading the recovery boiler system, along with filtration, condenser and acid system enhancements in the papermaking process.
Home Sales Hit Record
Sales of existing homes rose 0.7% in December, pushing the entirety of 2020 to a pace not seen in 14 years and providing one of the few bright spots for a U.S. economy mired in a global pandemic.