Today, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, announced Loretta’s Authentic Pralines of New Orleans, La. to be Small Business of the Week.

“Beyond the standard regulatory obstacles of starting a small business, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines has survived and thrived over the last 35 years. During Hurricane Katrina and the recovery, Loretta’s adapted to the surrounding community’s needs by staying open and expanding the menu in order to feed the volunteers and workers who were rebuilding the city,” said Vitter. “Small business owners like Loretta Harrison are inspiring and serve as great examples of the ingenuity and compassion it takes to succeed.”

Loretta Harrison, the first African American woman to own and operate her own praline company in New Orleans, was selected in honor of Black History Month, which is celebrated each February as a time to recognize the achievements and historical prominence of African Americans in U.S. history. Starting off as a praline stand at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 35 years ago, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines has since grown to include two storefronts in Marigny and the French Market. During the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Loretta’s became a familiar safe haven for the surrounding community, volunteers, and workers.

As Chairman of the Small Business Committee, Vitter is continuing the tradition of honoring local small businesses each week.