NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Veterans First business initiative launched Thursday. The program promotes veteran-owned businesses through certification, in-business displays, and an online database.
The goal is to encourage consumers to do business with Louisiana's veteran-owned businesses.
There are already 250 veteran-owned businesses in Louisiana that are certified on the new 'Louisiana Veterans First' online database. It allows veteran-owned businesses to display a Veterans First logo on their website or storefront to let consumers know they're veteran-owned.
"The Veterans First database will increase the visibility of certified businesses, allow potential customers to demonstrate their appreciation through patronage, and demonstrate the extent to which veterans and military families support the Louisiana economy and communities across the state," the news release said.
"You did something for your country and your country is basically giving you like that seal and that seal means a lot," said Elijah Hobley, who is a veteran and owns 'Body Time Boot Camp.'
If a consumer wants to support veterans, they can search the database for businesses.
"That's why Veterans First is so important," Drew Brees said in the PSA. "Here's how we can help. Use the Veterans First directory to search for products and services."
"We are the only state in the nation that has launched this kind of program," said LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland
From roofers to barber shops to marketing firms, the goal of veterans first is to recognize Louisiana veterans, reserve, and gold star families who own businesses by encouraging others to support them in return.
Veterans can register their businesses at laveteransfirst.org.
"Once on the website, participants will find steps to register. LDVA will certify the veteran status of applicants and will provide program support through its 74 parish field offices. Those offices will provide online and in-person support to assist applicants with certification. LED will provide the final business certification that requires all businesses to be in good standing with the Louisiana Secretary of State," the news release said.