The company currently has 10 branches throughout Louisiana, including an Ambassador Caffery location which opened last year.

The state's jobless rate rose to 5 percent in June from 4.9 percent in May. Louisiana's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in June 2013.

The 2014 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday exempts the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item for non-business use when the customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property or places property on layaway.

The project was pushed by former Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom as a way to help Louisiana's sugar industry, and its financing was approved in 2003 by the State Bond Commission. But it was a failure from the start and left current commissioner Mike Strain saddled with debt at his agency.

The Women Who Mean Business honorees and trailblazers will be featured as a cover story in the September issue of ABiz, which publishes Sept. 15.

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