Governor tours veteran-owned business in Haughton

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Gov. John Bel Edwards visits with veteran and small business owner Caroline King after touring her farm in Haughton. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Gov. John Bel Edwards discussed the Veterans First Business Initiative Tuesday while touring Heirloom Farms Country Store and Seed Savers with owner and veteran, Caroline King, in Haughton.

Under the Veterans First Business Initiative, veteran business owners will soon be able to get their business certified as veteran-owned.

“We’re going to be unfolding this in the next several weeks through public service announcements. And then we’re going to create a searchable database,” said Edwards. “We want people to know and be able to identify a veteran owned business.” 

Businesses that receive the certification will be able to display a logo informing consumers of their veteran-owned status. They will also be entered into a searchable database, allowing consumers to easily find veteran-owned businesses to buy from.

There are about 42,000 veteran-owned businesses in the state.

“You can look for some public service announcements coming out. Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback, has been nice enough to lend himself to this effort,” said Gov. Edwards. 

Gov. Edwards noted that the Veterans First Business Initiative is receiving national attention.

“This is already getting national attention because this program, more then likely, doesn’t exist anywhere,” Gov. Edwards added.

After spending time with Gov. Edwards, Caroline King said she is grateful for his support of the effort.

“The veterans in this state really do need an avenue to promote their businesses. This new veterans directory, that will be statewide, is a great way to start to get veterans the attention that they need,” said King. 

As a former Army Ranger, Gov. Edwards has maintained a close relationship with the veteran community in Louisiana.

The Veterans First Business Initiative was one of the bills supported by Gov. Edwards in the 2019 legislative session.