Week in Review, June 5-9: Smoothie King, Ireland Trade Mission, Early Care and Education

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Smoothie King has co-authored a steamy new romance novel with ChatGPT to coincide with the return of its X-Treme Watermelon smoothie and a new X-Treme Watermelon Lemonade smoothie. Entitled A Summer Fling to the X-Treme, the 250-page novel features a series of hidden codes nestled within its pages, and the first 300 readers to crack the codes and download the app will win a free 20-ounce smoothie. The smoothies are available through August 28 (or while supplies last), and prices will vary by location. The free novel (a limited run of 300 paperback copies), is available at asummerflingtothextreme.com.


Here are more of this week’s top business headlines:

This week, the World Trade Center New Orleans is leading its first trade mission under an operational partnership with GNO, Inc., to three major cities in Ireland (Dublin, Galway and Limerick). During the trip, participants are focusing on technology and health sciences via meetings with key government officials and business leaders, site visits to local facilities and research institutions, meetings with U.S. companies that have invested in Ireland and presentations from Irish companies that could benefit from assets in Louisiana. Currently, trade and investment between Ireland and the United States is at an all-time high. In Louisiana, nearly $116 billion in goods flow between the state and Ireland, and this trade mission will seek to find new ways to expand that number.

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On Monday, the Ready Louisiana Coalition—a leading advocacy alliance for early care and education—led a group of early childhood advocates in a demonstration to implore Louisiana legislators to save the state from cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program. The organization is seeking to increase the amount of budget funding that the Louisiana Senate Finance Committee approved over the weekend ($14 million) to at least $52 million (the amount Governor John Bel Edwards proposed in his initial executive budget). However, RLC says that it will take approximately $200 million to save all 16,000 child care seats that the state will lose due to expiring federal funds. After the Senate passed the amended budget with $14 million for child care on Monday, the House voted to reject the amendments. The bill is now with a group of three House members and three Senators to work out the differences between the two chambers. This will be the last opportunity for lawmakers to invest in child care this year.


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