Minority Business Development Agency Awards $3.6 Million for Business Development in Indian Country

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) announced grant awards totaling $3.6 million to support business development in Indian Country. The investment represents an historic level of 17% of all the MBDA grants awarded this year.

“Under the guidance of President Donald J. Trump, economies are booming across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These projects have the potential to further allow Native-owned businesses to build on this unprecedented economic climate and, in turn, create jobs and new opportunities in their communities.”

The diversity among the projects shows strong promise for Native-owned businesses to achieve entrepreneurial growth and global competitiveness. They encompass a range of strategies to address identified needs in Indian Country, including but not limited to access to capital, incubator/accelerators, federal program coaching, public-private partnerships, and broadband. Collectively, the objective is to ensure Tribal entrepreneurs and Tribal businesses are better connected to business opportunities and trained in entrepreneurship, leading to a stronger foundation for economic growth.

“These grants affirm MBDA’s long-standing commitment to economic development in Indian Country,” said Henry Childs II, MBDA National Director. “There are many examples of economic success in Indian Country. This includes areas such as energy, tourism, and gaming. Indigenous communities are a vital part of regional economies but are often disconnected from efforts to promote regional and rural development. This disconnect contributes to disparities in socio-economic outcomes experienced in Indian Country. MBDA’s investments will help link Indigenous communities with regional and rural development efforts.” stated Childs.

The FY 2019 grant recipients are:

  • • Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • • Asian, Inc.
  • • National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development
  • • Native American Development Corporation
  • • Oregon Native American Business Entrepreneurial Network
  • • Regents of New Mexico State University
  • • Rural Community Assistance Corporation
  • • Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc.
  • • Salish Kootenai College
  • • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • • Southwest Business Development Consultants, LLC
  • • Spruce Root, Inc.
  • • The TAALA Fund

Funds will be available for a 2-year period, September 2019 - August 2021. All recipients will have access to management and technical assistance from MBDA and its Office of Native American Business Development.