Louisiana launches veteran first business initiative

La. launches program to help consumers find businesses owned by veterans

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A program aimed at promoting veteran-owned businesses officially launched on Tuesday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards joined other state leaders and veterans at the National WWII Museum to launch the Louisiana Veterans First Business Initiative.

The Louisiana Veterans First Business Initiative promotes these businesses through certification, in-business displays and an online database that encourage consumers to do business with Louisiana’s veteran-owned firms.

“We know our veterans don’t stop serving when they come home. As business owners, veterans across the state continue to serve their communities with distinction and play an integral role in our economy,” Gov. Edwards said. “The Louisiana Veterans First Business Initiative provides an opportunity for us to give back to our veterans and their families by purchasing goods and services from these businesses. As a former Army Airborne Ranger, I encourage all veterans, active-duty personnel, Gold Star families and reserve-military business owners to sign up for this program today and connect with new customers and clients. And I encourage everyone to make use of the Veterans First database by patronizing these businesses, and remember to thank them for their great service to our state and nation as well.”

The initiative recognizes businesses that are majority-owned by veterans, military reservists, active-duty personnel or Gold Star family members. The database to help promote these firms can be found at LAVeteransFirst.org, where visitors can search the site may by business name, region, and industry. About 250 businesses are certified on the site already.

Business owners who are veterans are encouraged to visit LAVeteransFirst.org. Once on the website, participants will find steps to register.

The program was created through House Bill 391, by Rep. Franklin Foil who served 28 years in the U.S Navy. It was unanimously approved during the 2019 legislative session and signed into law by Gov. Edwards.

The Louisiana Economic Development is managing the program in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, or LDVA.

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