Week in Review, Aug. 9-13: Shots Required to Party in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – Here are week’s top business stories:

Notes from the Pandemic

The City of New Orleans has announced that proof of vaccination or a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test will be required to participate in activities with a higher risk of COVID transmission, including indoor dining and bars, indoor gyms and fitness, indoor entertainment and large outdoor events. San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles are some of the other cities that have put similar rules in place.

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Louisiana’s unenviable place as the epicenter of the nation’s latest coronavirus spike has replaced the excitement and hopefulness of a new school year with dread and anger. Parents, teachers, students and education leaders are arguing over coronavirus testing rules, worrying about infection possibilities and lashing out about mask and vaccine mandates. (from the Associated Press)

With new COVID-19 cases surging in Louisiana, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival won’t be returning this year after all, organizers said Sunday. The festival, which traditionally is held in the spring, had been scheduled to run Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 15-17 this year after being canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But organizers cited “current exponential growth” of new COVID-19 cases in the city and region, as well as an ongoing public health emergency, in announcing that the festival will not occur as planned. (AP) Also, Organizers of the 2021 French Quarter Festival announced they are cancelling their planned October 2021 event, which had been rescheduled from April, because of increased rates of COVID infections and hospitalizations in the area.


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Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

NOLA Detox and Recovery Center, a residential addiction treatment facility in Algiers, announced it has officially opened its doors to patients. “This moment has been a long time coming, but we are thrilled to finally say we have beds available now,” says Dan Forman, the center’s founder and chief executive officer. “The public health crisis occurring across our city and state is detrimental to current and future generations. NOLA Detox is providing real, meaningful solutions to the people of New Orleans.”

Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry has begun building a 10,000-square-foot freestanding store at Lakeside Shopping Center. The new building, located on Causeway Boulevard in front of Dillard’s, will more than double the size of the current Lee Michaels location in the mall. It will have two storefronts; one will offer fine jewelry and the other will focus on timepieces. “This year will mark our company’s 25th year in business at Lakeside Shopping Center, and we thank Jefferson Parish and the New Orleans Metro Area for being a part of that success,” said Chad Berg, the company’s co-owner and president. “This community’s support over the last 25 years has made it possible for us to relocate and build a freestanding location on Causeway Boulevard set to open in the fall of 2022.” 


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Jefferson Chamber of Commerce President Todd Murphy announced today that he will leave his economic development position in October to accept an equity partnership with a local office of Raymond James Financial Services. “I leave the Jefferson Chamber the relevant business organization that it should be, working in tandem with elected officials to better our business environment and quality of life,” said Murphy. “It’s been the highlight of my career to be at the helm of such a vibrant organization that influences legislation and drives change on important issues. Our investors, volunteers and employees have much to be proud of, and a steady foundation to build upon.”

Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough has announced that the 2021-2022 school year will be his last as leader of the 152-year-old historically Black institution of higher learning. He is entering his 10th year at the helm. “Walter is an innovative leader who has made an indelible impact on Dillard University,” said school alumnus and board chairman Michael D. Jones in a press release. “His commitment to our mission has resulted in significant growth financially, academically and in the community. I am excited about Dillard’s future as we enter this next era of leadership.”

And the Winner Is …

Glass Half Full is the winner of the seventh annual Startup St. Bernard pitch competition presented by the Meraux Foundation and St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation. The recycling startup collects glass and converts it into beach-like sand and glass cullet for disaster relief, eco-construction, new glass products and more. Grand prize winnings include nearly $100k in cash and in-kind services. “This is one of the most impressive groups of businesses we’ve ever had compete in Startup St. Bernard, and I’d like to congratulate Glass Half Full for taking home the grand prize,” said Rita Gue, president of the Meraux Foundation. “Startup St. Bernard is all about showcasing our parish as a great place in which to do business, and all three of these companies are shining examples of the innovative and creative businesses that will thrive here.”

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