Week in Review, Nov. 8-12: Children’s Hospital Celebrates Expansion

NEW ORLEANS — Here are the week’s top business stories:

On Nov. 7, Children’s Hospital New Orleans celebrated the grand opening of its expanded campus. “Today, we celebrate the completion of the $300 million transformation of our campus, an unprecedented investment in child health for Louisiana and the Gulf South,” said John R. Nickens IV, the hospital’s president and CEO, at the event. “What’s most exciting is what this new day means for the children and families we serve. Together, with our academic partners at LSU Health New Orleans and Tulane University School of Medicine, we are poised to take on the health challenges our kids and communities are facing by offering the highest level of pediatric care, right here in Louisiana.” The project, which began in 2017, has created more than 230,000 square feet of new clinical care space — allowing for expanded heart care, cancer care, surgical and emergency services — and a new behavioral health center. New York-based architecture and engineering firm EYP provided the designs for the expansion. Lemoine, based in New Orleans, led the construction effort. The hospital said that nearly $40 million was provided by donors. …

S&W Wholesale Foods is investing $12 million to develop a new multi-temperature wholesale food distribution center near Hammond. Upon completion, the company will relocate its current operations to the new 100,000 square-foot facility, which will feature 30,000 square feet of office space that includes a state-of-the-art culinary test kitchen and a training facility with stadium-style seating. S&W Wholesale is a family owned and operated Louisiana distributor of meats, seafood, produce, dairy, canned goods, cleaning supplies, paper products, plasticware and more. With the new, larger facility, the company will retain 76 employees and create 30 direct new jobs with an average salary of $55,000, plus benefits. “S&W Wholesale has enjoyed a long history of success and growth in Louisiana, and their expansion near Hammond is evidence of the continued economic vibrancy of Tangipahoa Parish,” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. “I am proud to celebrate this new chapter in S&W’s history, and I congratulate company leadership and the surrounding community on the new opportunities and economic growth that will follow.” … 

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Atlanta-based company Rural Sourcing will establish a new software development center in downtown Baton Rouge that will create 150 direct new jobs with average salaries of $75,000, plus benefits. Rural Sourcing provides “multidisciplinary teams of software experts to build, deploy and optimize critical software applications.” The company offers a variety of digital engineering services, including application development, data analytics, cloud migration, application security, and more. For its new Baton Rouge center, the company will hire for positions in full stack development, or roles that work on both front- and back-end website development. “On behalf of Louisiana, I welcome Rural Sourcing to our state and to Baton Rouge,” said Edwards in a press release. “As we work to strengthen and diversify our economy, I am proud that digital media and software development companies continue to find a home in Louisiana. Our highly skilled workforce, competitive resources and welcoming business climate will ensure that Rural Sourcing can hit the ground running on day one.” …

New Orleans startups are making substantial gains in attracting investment funding while also adopting more flexible work options and scaling back their office expansion plans, according to the latest findings from Tulane University’s 2021 Greater New Orleans Startup Report. The report, compiled by the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, is based on a survey of approximately 200 startups in the 10-parish region from the first quarter of 2021. “We can divide takeaways from this report into two broad categories,” said Lepage Center Executive Director Rob Lalka. “First, the data helps us understand what our businesses have experienced since the onset of the pandemic. Second, we saw important developments in early-stage venture financing, which prompt new questions about what the changing landscape of angel investing and venture capital will mean for our region.”

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