Proposed bill would create initiative to encourage patronage to veteran-owned businesses in Louisiana

Proposed bill would create initiative to encourage patronage to veteran-owned businesses in Louisiana
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana representatives are proposing a bill that would encourage patronage to veteran-owned businesses through certification initiative.

HB-391, sponsored by Rep. Franklin Foil (R) and co-sponsored by Sen. Wesley Bishop (D) and Rep. Kenny Cox (D), is legislation to create the Veterans First Business Initiative. The bill was introduced to the house March 29 and was sent to the House Commerce Committee for a April 16 hearing.

The initiative involves certifying businesses that are veteran-owned. The bill defines a veteran-owned business as a business that is 51 percent owned by veterans.

Active and reserve military service members fall into the “veteran” definition, according to the bill.

The Louisiana Economic Department would be required to develop the application and certification process as well as create and maintain a database of veteran-owned businesses.

Both the LED and the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs would confirm veteran status and promote the program.

The legislation calls for creating insignia for these business owners to use on their storefront to promote that the business is veteran-owned.

The bill did not state a launch date for the proposed initiative.

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