Jindal Backs State Funding For Small Business Aid Program

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The threat of closure for a 26-year-old business program that helps small businesses apply for government contracts appears to have been averted.

         Gov. Bobby Jindal included the $185,000 needed to save the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, known as PTAC, in his budget proposal for next year.

         Legislative support is expected.

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         Though the state financing needed for PTAC is small, questions were raised about its survival because Louisiana is grappling with a $1.6 billion budget shortfall. The U.S. Department of Defense provides money for the program, but requires a dollar-for-dollar match.

         Supporters say PTAC has helped businesses across 54 parishes obtain $4.5 billion in government contracts since it opened in Louisiana. The program is housed at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and has four counseling centers around the state.


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