Governor Steve Bullock and Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary present Brennin Grainey (far left) of Glacier Bank and Tammy Fragua (second from left), owner of Flathead Raft Company, a check for $65,000 from the Native American Collateral Support Program that secured a $225,000 loan with Glacier Bank. Photo by Canon Luerkens.
The Native American Collateral Support (NACS) Program is a new innovative collateral support program that provides critical gap financing for the local community lender to finance projects when the borrower lacks sufficient equity or collateral to permit the lender to finance the project. NACS was funded by the Montana Legislature in 2015 with $500,000 in seed capital. Collateral support assistance is limited to five years, permitting the monies to recycle back to the fund to support new borrowers. Emerging Native American business owners will now have an additional source of capital when their local lender is seeking to provide a loan for business expansion, the purchase of equipment and other assets, and, in this case, the purchase of an existing business. Tammy and Sean Fragua, owners of Flathead Raft Company (Polson) were able to borrow $265,000 from Glacier Bank utilizing $65,000 in assistance from the NACS to purchase property and construct a new warehouse for the business. Beau and Nellie Garfield were able to secure a $379,000 First Community Bank commercial loan with $100,000 in collateral support to purchase the NAPA Auto Parts Store in Wolf Point that they managed for eight years. Great Northern Development Corporation financed an additional $75,000 to the Garfields to complete the financing packing.