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Doing business on the ‘Bayou’ just got a little spicier

November 30, 2015

Brittany Banta is the Acting Director for the U.S. Commercial Service’s Export Assistance Center in New Orleans.

Louisiana’s companies have something new to be proud about.

Earlier this month, the Louisiana District Export Council was recognized as the District Export Council of the Year for 2015. The DEC won the award during the National DEC Forum in Washington, D.C., and I was honored to participate in this special ceremony.

DEC Award

Alta Baker (L), Chairwoman of the Louisiana District Export Council (DEC), and Brittany Banta (R), Acting Director for the New Orleans U.S. Export Assistance Center and the Louisiana DEC’s Executive Secretary accept the International Trade Administration’s 2015 DEC of the Year Award.

Considering there are 59 DECs across the United States, winning this award is a big deal. And Louisiana companies exporting right now, or thinking about exporting, should take notice.

Since the fall of 2014 members of the Louisiana DEC have been quite busy. In December of that year, the DEC took part in the New Orleans’s International Workboat Show, where connected U.S. businesses with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. In October of 2014, on the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal, the DEC led 50 business leaders from across several industries to the Central American nation. Leaders from industries to include the port, health care, higher education, seafood and economic development all attended, providing increased awareness between Panamanian importers and Louisiana businesses.

And several members of the Council played a major role in helping Copa Airlines secure the only direct flight service between New Orleans and Panama. Talk about impactful!

What does all this mean for Louisiana exporters? It means our dedicated District Export Council is ready to support small- and medium-sized businesses to help them successfully export anywhere around the world.

But it also means these volunteers have a wealth of knowledge about how to export the right way, and I hope companies will take advantage of their services.

Led by Alta Baker, the DEC’s chairwoman and CEO of Safe Haven Enterprises LLC in Jennings, the Louisiana DEC has worked tirelessly to educate and support small businesses across the state, encouraging them to take advantage of international opportunities.

And with more than 95 percent of consumers living outside of the United States, companies should certainly take advantage.

DECs work closely with local U.S. Commercial Service Export Assistance Centers — like ours in New Orleans — to educate and inform companies on exporting and international trade. If you’re interested in becoming one of the more than 3,700 companies exporting from Louisiana, email us  and visit our website for more information.

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