Interior awards $3.9 million to promote tribal economic development

WASHINGTON, DC – The Indian Affairs Bureau of Indian Economic Development announced grants totaling $3.9 million under two programs that support economic development in Indian Country – the Native American Business Incubator Program and Native American Business Development Institute Feasibility Study Program.

“Entrepreneurship has a long history in Indian Country, and the Department of the Interior is proud to support tribal community businesses,” said Assistant Indian Affairs Secretary Bryan Newland. “These grant programs are part of the federal government’s responsibility under treaties and trusts to protect tribal economic sovereignty and revitalize Indigenous communities by stimulating economic growth and innovation. Business growth in Indian Country is necessary to build sustainable tribal economies that generate income, meet community needs and create jobs.

The Native American Business Incubator Program awarded grants totaling $2,926,924 to 10 tribes and tribal organizations. These funds will be used to create and operate business incubators that help entrepreneurs by providing advice and services such as workspaces, advice on how to access capital, business training, counseling and mentoring opportunities to overcome barriers to turning their innovative ideas into operational businesses.

  • Change Labs, Arizona – $300,000
  • Quechan Indian Tribe, Arizona – $300,000
  • Community Development Society of Plenty Doors, Montana – $300,000
  • Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma – $300,000
  • Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma – $300,000
  • Sinte Gleska University, South Dakota – $300,000
  • Intertribal Planning Agency of South Puget, Washington – $300,000
  • Taala Fund, Washington – $300,000
  • Regents of New Mexico State University, New Mexico – $289,869
  • Mohave County Community College District – Hualapai Tribal Nation, Arizona – $237,055

Each business incubator will receive the awarded amount each year for a three-year term, with an option to renew for an additional non-competitive three-year term.

The Native American Business Development Institute’s Feasibility Study Program awarded a total of $1 million to 15 tribes and tribal organizations to fund feasibility studies that assess the viability and risks of an economic development project, d ‘an opportunity, a business or a business, or the practicality of a technology tribe can choose to pursue. The studies can be used to determine the likelihood of business success in specific American Indian and Alaska Native communities. When carried out by a reputable third party, an economic development feasibility study can also be used to help persuade lenders and investors to provide financial support. A study that concludes that a project is worthwhile and financially viable can often meet many of the lender’s or investor’s due diligence requirements by answering questions about a project’s chances of success, resulting in faster loan approval or better loan terms.

  • Pit River Tribe, California – $75,000
  • Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, California – $75,000
  • Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana – $75,000
  • Indian Community of Bay Mills, Michigan – $75,000
  • Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma – $75,000
  • Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas – $75,000
  • Kiowa Tribe, Oklahoma – $73,665
  • Muscogee Nation (Creek), Oklahoma – $68,708
  • Burns Paiute Tribe, Oregon – $65,750
  • Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska – $62,164
  • Delaware Nation Economic Development Authority, Oklahoma – $60,300
  • Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, Arizona – $59,700
  • Shinnecock Indian Nation, New York – $58,752
  • Resighini Rancheria, California – $57,187
  • Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma – $43,774