Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

New Louisiana Program Connects Energy Contractors with Local Businesses

A new state website has been launched to help Louisiana businesses connect with prime contractors for industrial, petrochemical and coastal restoration projects.

The online portal -- Louisiana Business Connection -- is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., and the portal could eventually serve as an example that other states follow.

Getting Connected

A main objective of the website is to help businesses more easily participate in the billions of dollars of restoration, energy, petrochemical and chemical projects that have been permitted or are currently underway.

What makes the portal stand out is that it goes beyond suggesting to energy companies and contractors that they should use Louisiana companies and vendors. Instead, prime contractors and local firms can connect more directly.

The website allows small businesses to create profiles that list their certifications, abilities, safety ratings, insurance coverage and other relevant information, and prime contractors also create profiles that describe the requirements for projects. The portal then generates a list of small businesses that could meet the project's needs.

The program launched statewide in May, and by June 11 about 500 small businesses and more than 50 prime contractors had completed profiles.

The program is in part a response to the reality that only a small fraction of post-Hurricane Katrina investments went to local firms, with most of that money going to out-of-state or foreign companies.

Helping Small Businesses Overcome Obstacles

Small firms may encounter hurdles that larger companies -- particularly those with significant marketing resources -- can more easily avoid. With a single portal that puts the names of small firms directly in front of prime contractors, a small firm can better compete for state and federal contracts instead of getting mired in the prime's complicated procurement process, which may be particularly burdensome for a small business.

You can learn more about Louisiana Business Connection here.

For more on legal issues related to the oil and gas industry, please see Schexnaydre Law Firm's oil and gas law overview.

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Mandeville, LA 70471

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