Johnson: We are #bettertogether

Partnerships is one of the four pillars of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, along with opportunity, education and advocacy. During May, we get to see all of these pillars in full force as we celebrate Military May, host graduation for our Bossier Youth Leadership students, go to the capitol to advocate for business during the Legislative session and provide numerous networking opportunities including our Morning Blend: Speed Networking and our annual Golf Classic.

All month long, we will be celebrating Military Appreciation Month and we started the momentum for honoring those who serve our great nation by partnering with the City of Bossier City and the City of Shreveport in late April to proclaim May as Military Appreciation Month in both cities. Now, in May, we are hosting our annual Military Recognition Breakfast and a Veterans Career & Resource Fair.

Are you looking for ways to have your business support our servicemen and servicewomen this month? Here are a few ideas:

• Businesses can display their support on facility marquees, in Facebook messages and any other way that will help echo our community’s military support. Use the hashtag #MilitaryMayNWLA

• If you see a member of the armed forces in his or her uniform, take a moment to shake hands, and simply say that you appreciate their service. In the same way, many veterans wear a hat or shirt that reflects their prior service.

• If you are a business owner, a military discount for all current and prior service members could be an easy way to show your thanks. Make it easy on them by posting it somewhere near checkout and ensuring your staff are aware. See member businesses who offer a discount as part of our Preferred Military Merchant Program.

• Perhaps the simplest way to show your respect and appreciation is to fly the American flag at your home or business. This shows appreciation for the work that our active members and reservists do, and what our veterans have done.  

ADVOCACY: As a part of our regional approach for 2019, we have partnered with the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and NLEP (North Louisiana Economic Partnership) to expand our Legislative Directory and Political Agenda to a North Louisiana publication. The book, now covering 14 parishes, highlights priorities for the entire region and lists the elected officials for the region on the federal, state and local levels, including the mayor and city councils of the major cities (12,000 population and above) as well as the sheriff, police jury (or commission/council) and school board for each parish.

This publication will serve as a great way for North Louisiana to have a collective voice at the capitol, including the Northern Exposure event hosted by the Monroe Chamber in early May, where our business leaders go down to the capitol together to present one voice to legislators from North Louisiana. The publication is available on the Bossier Chamber website and members can pick up their copies at the Chamber as well. We truly are #bettertogether.

Lisa Johnson is president and CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce

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