WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, was today awarded the 2009 Federal Leadership in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council. IEDC is the world's largest membership organization serving the economic development profession. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, its 4,600 members represent the entire range of the economic development profession.

“The International Economic Development Council plays an essential role assisting its members to foster small business growth and entrepreneurial development,” Sen. Landrieu said. “It is an honor to be recognized with their Federal Leadership in Economic Development Award. Throughout my career, I have made economic development one of my top priorities, and I will continue to fight for small businesses as Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a good first step, as it will encourage new lending to entrepreneurs and emerging businesses, but there is still much work left to be done. I look forward to working with IEDC and other organizations to continue fighting for small businesses and economic development.”

Sen. Landrieu was nominated for the award in recognition of her work to assist small businesses following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005, as well as her leadership of a bipartisan coalition to enact U.S. Small Business Administration disaster reforms in 2008. The senator was also lauded for her support of improving broadband access and availability, particularly in rural areas.

“Senator Landrieu’s accomplishments in supporting small businesses and disaster recovery efforts are significant and impactful for the economic development industry,” said Ian Bromley, Chair of the Board of Directors of IEDC. “Her extraordinary leadership has made a lasting imprint on the lives of communities and the vitality of businesses.”

“Sen. Landrieu's receipt of this award from the IEDC is proof positive that she is a tireless advocate for the people of Louisiana and a friend to economic developers across the nation in her new role as Chair of the US Senate Small Business Committee. It is indeed an honor for us to work with Sen. Landrieu and she is truly deserving of this award,” said George Swift, President and CEO of the Southwest Louisiana Chamber of Commerce.

“Senator Mary Landrieu has been an effective legislator in advancing economic recovery and growth policies. Today, we join with our peers in congratulating her on the IEDC Federal Award, a well deserved honor,” said Michael Hecht, CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc.