Louisiana bill would set up veteran-owned business database

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is on track to create a new program that would certify veteran-owned businesses and create a database for consumers to search for them.

The House-backed bill easily sped through the Senate commerce committee Wednesday, with Gov. John Bel Edwards, a former Army Ranger, testifying in support of the legislation . The governor says census data indicates Louisiana has 42,000 veteran-owned businesses.

The proposal creates the Veterans First Business Initiative in the state's economic development agency.

The department will certify veteran-owned businesses, create an insignia for them to use and display a searchable database on its website for customers who want to find veteran vendors.

The measure by Baton Rouge Republican Rep. Franklin Foil moves to the full Senate for debate, one step from final passage.

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House Bill 391: www.legis.la.gov