Governor Bullock Announces Grants to Grow 34 Native American-Owned Small Businesses

Havre Montana MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced $350,000 in funding to support the growth of 34 Native American-owned small businesses in each of the eight Tribal Nations in Montana through the Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant program at the Montana Department of Commerce.

“Investing in Native American-owned small businesses means investing in opportunities to create jobs and strengthen local and tribal economies across Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “The Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant is one of the best tools the state has available to directly support entrepreneurs and small business owners in Indian Country.”

The Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant program invests in start-up or expanding Native American-owned businesses in Montana. Funds can be used for costs associated with a variety of business growth activities, such as the purchase of new equipment or the development of a new product line.

Each business will receive between $3,750 and $14,000 and must provide matching funds.

The following 34 entrepreneurs and small businesses owners will share $350,000 in Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grants:

Blackfeet Tribe
Chippewa Cree Tribe
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
Crow Tribe
Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes
Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe
Northern Cheyenne Tribe
The competitive Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant is one of three proven grant programs within the Office of Indian Country Economic Development (OICED) at Commerce that is considered for funding by the Montana Legislature each biennium and was funded most recently as part of House Bill 2 in 2019. Together with the Native American Business Advisors grant and the Tribal Business Planning Grant, these programs continue to articulate measurable success for investing in business and economic development activities on reservations in partnership with tribal governments, Native American economic development organizations and Native American-owned businesses to strengthen local and tribal economies.

Due to the continued success of these programs, Governor Bullock included funding for them in his proposed 2023 Biennium Executive Budget.

The application cycle for the Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant typically opens annually on July 1. Applicants are encouraged to work with their local Native American Business Advisors to put together competitive applications and gain valuable business skills and access to business counseling services year-round.

To learn more about the Office of Indian Country Economic Development programs, visit INDIANCOUNTRY.MT.GOV.

Tags: Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant Program and Office of Tourism and Business Development