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U.S. Rep. Julia Letlow secures $1 million in community project funding for collaboration between ULM and City of Monroe

Published March 14, 2024

ULM Monroe

MONROE, LA – Louisiana District 5 Congresswoman Julia Letlow announced that she has secured $37.39 million in community project funding for the Fifth District of Louisiana. As part of the funding package, $1 million will go toward a collaboration between the University of Louisiana Monroe and the City of Monroe for entrepreneurial expansion and a business incubator.  

“Thank you so much, Congresswoman Letlow, for seeing the value in the continued partnership between the City

U.S. Rep. Julia Letlow

and OUR University of Louisiana Monroe,” said Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis. “We are so excited and look forward to the fruits of our collaboration and what this project will produce for Northeast Louisiana. The impacts of working together to enhance the small business ecosystem and create space for entry-level and new businesses to grow and expand will create a stronger economy for our region,” said Ellis. “The City is proud to be able to partner with ULM on this initiative, strengthening our existing entrepreneurial culture and providing opportunities for small businesses to flourish.” 

“We are grateful for the leadership and support of Congresswoman Julia Letlow for securing funding for this initiative that will help create businesses, jobs and grow our economy,” said ULM President Dr. Ron Berry. “Her passion and commitment for this region were instrumental in bringing the University and the City of Monroe together for this impactful project,” he continued.   “We also appreciate the leadership of Mayor Friday Ellis and the Monroe City Council for their partnership and look forward to working with them to expand business opportunities and success in our region,” said Berry.  

The community project funding was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024. In a statement, Rep. Letlow said, “My number one mission in Congress is to give back to our communities. My office and I worked hard to secure the millions in funding that will be crucial for Louisiana’s economic growth and prosperity.”  

The project proposal from ULM and the City of Monroe was officially titled “Creating an Environment for Economic Development – Entrepreneurial Innovation Expansion.” The $1 million will go towards the creation of additional space for small businesses to have a place to grow and developing rural-based satellite facilities for business incubator space in lower-income areas of the region. Additionally, the funds will help renovate existing space for K-12 institutions to use for training and establishing an entrepreneurial spirit among youth in the City of Monroe and constructing a resource center for under-represented populations and individuals with seemingly limited career options to explore entrepreneurship.  

ULM and the City of Monroe will continue to work together to finalize and execute the proposal.