Nordstrom Rack opens store in Lafayette

Nordstrom Rack, the off-price retail division of Nordstrom Inc., has opened a 25,000-square-foot store at 111 Meadow Farm Road, Suite 140, in the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette.

Merchandise includes discounted brand-name apparel, shoes and accessories for men, women and children.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The phone number is (337) 484-1360 and website is nordstromrack.com.

The store is the retailer’s 196th Rack location.

Buying home credit counseling event set

A free credit counseling seminar titled “Building Credit to Buy a Home” will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Scotlandville Branch Library at 7333 Scenic Highway in Baton Rouge.

The Urban Restoration Enhancement Corp. is sponsoring the event in partnership with Capital One.

Advance registration is required at www.urecbr.com or by calling (225) 356-8871.

‘Facebook Pages 101’ seminar scheduled

A “Facebook Pages 101” marketing seminar will be held by SCORE Baton Rouge from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the University of Phoenix Learning Center at 2431 S. Acadian Thruway in Baton Rouge.

Topics include your profile and page, why the “about” section is important, how to schedule posts to use time efficiently and how to post more effectively. Seating is limited; register at www.scorebr.org.

Real estate firm now Century 21 SELA

Realty Executives SELA in Metairie has affiliated with Century 21 and is operating as Century 21 SELA.

The agency provides residential real estate, investment real estate and land development services to buyers and sellers throughout southeast Louisiana.

The firm has tripled in size in the past three years. It has four offices and more than 170 sales associates.

Tammy Randles, president of the firm, said affiliating with Century 21 takes its brokerage to the next level and gives its agents access to tools and resources they need.

St. James SCORE plans business seminar

St James Parish/SCORE is holding a free seminar titled “Simple Steps for Starting or Expanding Your Business” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Lutcher Public Relations Building at 1876 W. Main St. behind the School Board Administration Building in Lutcher.

Topics include myths and realities of entrepreneurship; critical success factors; knowing options; components of business ownership; making it legal; funding and cash management; and business plan basics. Register at www.scorebr.org.

uBreakiFix plans stores in New Orleans, BR

uBreakiFix, which specializes in same-day repair service of small electronics, has opened in New Orleans, with plans for three more stores there and four in Baton Rouge.

The uBreakiFix New Orleans at 2115 Magazine St. is the chain’s first store in Louisiana.

The brand has 170 locations and expects to have 275 stores across North America by 2017.

The stores offer repair services for all brands of smartphones, tablets, computers, game consoles and other electronics. The stores repair cracked cellphone screens, water damage, software issues, camera issues and other technical problems.

The franchise owner is Mike Melito and business partner Bobby Diliberto. Melito was founder and CEO at Nexstar Inc., an authorized dealer for Nextel Communications in the South.

The chain’s website is ubreakifix.com.

Southern set to host business contracts event

The 12th annual Connecting Businesses with Contracts Procurement Conference will be held March 21-22 by Southern University Agricultural Center’s Center for Rural and Small Business Development.

The free conference will kick off at 5:30 p.m. March 21 with a business-to-business networking session in the LaCumba Play Den of the Smith-Brown Memorial Union on the Southern University Baton Rouge campus.

The conference will begin at 8 a.m. March 22 in the Smith-Brown Memorial Union.

Topics include grant writing; establishing a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, growing an established business, developing a small-business strategic plan, succession planning, making decisions based on financial statements, information on lending wills and the requirements to become a licensed contractor.

The event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University, Louisiana’s economic development department and the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

Small businesses can exhibit their products and services during the conference, but they must preregister by faxing a registration form to (504) 589-2339 or emailing the form to jo.lawrence3@sba.gov no later than Wednesday.

Conference registration is at www.crsbd.com/events. On-site registration will be available on the day of the conference.

For information or to obtain registration forms, contact Gloria London at (225) 771-4107 or gloria_london@suagcenter.com, or Eual Hall at (225) 771-4105 or eual_hall@suagcenter.com.

Researchers receive mosquito, malaria grant

LSU Agricultural Center entomologists Daniel Swale and Kristen Healy received a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to research methods to control malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in Kenya.

Swale, an insect physiologist, recently returned from Mbita, Kenya, where he set up his research project and assembled a team of researchers to help him with the project in East Africa.

“Currently, malaria control revolves around long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets,” Swale said, “… but mosquitoes are developing both behavioral and insecticide resistance to this form of control.”

To mitigate this resistance, Swale is working with two classes of insecticides that focus on two life stages of the mosquito as well as the adult mosquito.

Healy and a group of students and scientists are performing experiments in Louisiana that will test the efficacy of various insect growth regulators to determine potential use in Swale’s research in Kenya.

Swale and Healy also are working with East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control on a mosquito that is common in Louisiana.

“The goal of this study in Louisiana is twofold. It will serve as another mechanism to test the experimental design that is currently being used in Kenya. It also will begin the process of characterizing a novel mechanism to control Louisiana mosquitoes,” Swale said.

Swale will wrap up his work in Kenya and Louisiana in December.

With successful results from his current grant, Swale will apply for a $1 million Grand Challenges grant to further his research.

Organization holding coastal summit, expo

The Working on the Water Summit and Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 22 at the Meraux Foundation’s Docville Farm, 5124 E. St. Bernard Highway, Violet.

The free event is designed for fishermen, charter boat captains and other coastal businesses. Topics include opportunities in coastal restoration, ecotourism and innovations in the fishing industry. Coastal business owners will have an opportunity to speak to government contracting agencies about ways to make more money in the down season.

The summit is an initiative by the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, the Regional Planning Commission and the Economic Development Administration. Registration is at www.workingonthewater.com.

Awards to recognize financial programs

The Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition is accepting award applications until March 25 for a program to recognize business or nonprofit organizations, including state and local government entities, that provide financial education to their employees.

Eligibility criteria and the online application for the Workplace Financial Education Honor Roll Program can be found at www.louisianajumpstart.org.

Honorees will be announced and recognized in April in support of Financial Literacy Month.