Latest Updates

Keep in touch with what's going on around NELEA. We'll post the latest news on this page regularly.

COVID-19 Updates

We are working with all levels of government to safeguard Louisiana businesses in terms of economic and physical safety issues related to COVID-19.

We’re posting links that connect business owners with valuable resources. These links are also updated as soon as any new information becomes available, so please check this page often.






A Message from Brad Lambert

LED Allies:

Our work together makes a genuine difference in Louisiana’s economy, and I want to thank you for your many contributions. Together, we’re able to attract projects and jobs that are increasing economic opportunity throughout our state.

Today, I’d like to formally introduce you to LED’s new online platform — Louisiana Business Connection — and ask for your assistance.

First, let me give you a little background. In the past year, LED has learned more about the business-to-business challenges that large corporations and industrial contractors face. They know there are many capable small businesses in Louisiana, but the daily demands of their work make discovering these firms a challenge. In particular, they wish to engage with small businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans, the firms that are classified as disadvantaged business enterprises.

LED has seized the opportunity to connect these important stakeholders through Louisiana Business Connection. We want large companies with contract opportunities to register, and we want the small businesses of Louisiana who can supply those services to register. On this website, they’ll find each other and hopefully explore opportunities to work together.

We have begun a testing phase for the online portal, and I’m requesting your help to populate the site. As your schedule allows, would you or your representatives be so kind to reach out to appropriate contacts in your area and ask them to register? Please download and share with them the official Louisiana Business Connection guide here. It explains who the website is for, why it exists and how to use it.

Our goal is to register 400 businesses by March 31.

We’ll ask these businesses to provide feedback on the registration process via links on each page of the site. It’s free to register, and the process may take up to 30 minutes. Small businesses should be sure to have the following items handy to complete their profile: federal employment ID, state unemployment tax ID, insurance and bonding details, and any certification documentation.

We deeply appreciate your help. Together, our outreach can expand opportunities for all businesses throughout Louisiana.



Brad Lambert
Deputy Secretary
Louisiana Economic Development

LABI makes a stop in Monroe

LABI makes a stop in Monroe

LABI (Louisiana Association of Business and Industry) serves its broad membership by working towards the singular goal of fostering a climate for economic growth through consistently championing the principles of the free enterprise system. LABI sets the standard for advocacy, providing policymakers with the information and perspective necessary to advance sound public policy that supports strong economic growth. LABI is proud to be Louisiana’s official state chapter for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Stephen Waguespack, President/CEO of LABI made a stop in Monroe on Monday, March 27th and gave an update on where our state is headed when it comes to business and industry. 

Ancient Louisiana City ‘Poverty Point’ Is As Old As The Pyramids In Egypt

Ancient Louisiana City ‘Poverty Point’ Is As Old As The Pyramids In Egypt

The enormous earthen monument Poverty Point, built on a Mississippi River bayou some 3,200 years ago, is an impressive feat of engineering. Hunter-gatherers moved more than 26.5 million cubic feet (750,000 cubic meters) of dirt to create concentric ridges and several large mounds in what is today northern Louisiana.

Now researchers say one of the most impressive earthworks at the site likely took shape in fewer than 90 days, built by thousands of Native American laborers using a “bucket brigade” system.

Archaeologists excavating parts of Poverty Point, which is now in the running to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, analyzed core samplings and sediments from one of the massive earthen features known as Mound A. Curiously, they found no traces of rainfall or erosion during the construction phase of the mound.

“We’re talking about an area of northern Louisiana that now tends to receive a great deal of rainfall,” said researcher T.R. Kidder, an anthropology professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “Even in a very dry year, it would seem very unlikely that this location could go more than 90 days without experiencing some significant level of rainfall. Yet, the soil in these mounds shows no sign of erosion taking place during the construction period. There is no evidence from the region of an epic drought at this time, either.” [In Photos: Earthly Mounds Shaped Like Animals]

Mound A, which stretches across 538,000 square feet (50,000 square meters) at its base and rises 72 feet (22 m) above the Mississippi River, is thought to be the last addition to Poverty Point’s altered landscape. If it were built today, it would take a 10-wheel dump truck more than 30,000 loads to move the estimated 8.4 million cubic feet (238,500 cubic m) of dirt that make up the mound, Kidder and his colleagues said. But hunter-gatherers likely did it with bushel baskets.

“The Poverty Point mounds were built by people who had no access to domesticated draft animals, no wheelbarrows, no sophisticated tools for moving earth,” Kidder explained in a statement. “It’s likely that these mounds were built using a simple ‘bucket brigade’ system, with thousands of people passing soil along from one to another using some form of crude container, such as a woven basket, a hide sack or a wooden platter.”

The researchers believe to complete such a feat in such a short amount of time would have required about 3,000 laborers. This suggests that as many as 9,000 archaic Native Americans might have flocked to Poverty Point for the huge construction project, assuming that many of the workers were accompanied by their wives and children, the team said.

“Given that a band of 25-30 people is considered quite large for most hunter-gatherer communities, it’s truly amazing that this ancient society could bring together a group of nearly 10,000 people, find some way to feed them and get this mound built in a matter of months,” Kidder said.

“These results contradict the popular notion that pre-agricultural people were socially, politically, and economically simple and unable to organize themselves into large groups that could build elaborate architecture or engage in so-called complex social behavior.”

Poverty Point was recently nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Sitebecause of its cultural significance. Artifacts excavated at the site come from as far away as the Ohio and Tennessee river valleys and the Appalachians of Alabama and Georgia, indicating the Poverty Point civilization was heavily involved in trade, the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s Division of Archaeology noted in its UNESCO application.

A bird-shaped mound at Poverty Point in Louisiana, nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

City of Monroe State of the City Address

City of Monroe State of the City Address

The City of Monroe held the “State of the City” address on Wednesday, March 15th at the Monroe Civic Center. Mayor Jamie Mayo says that the city is “on the move” and looking forward to another successful year. Relief. Repair. Rebuild. Recovery and Resiliency…that’s what the City of Monroe is proud of!