The Indian Country Programs will begin accepting applications to the fiscal year 2020 Tribal Business Planning Grant program starting July 1, 2019. Funding for the family of programs under the ICED funding (Tribal Business Planning Grant (TBPG), Indian Equity Fund (IEF) Small Business Grant, and the Native American Business Advisors (NABA) Grant) was passed by the 66th Montana State Legislature as part of House Bill 2 and signed into law by Governor Steve Bullock in May 2019. These programs allow the Indian Country Programs to continue to articulate measurable success for investing in business and economic development activities on reservations in partnership with tribal governments for the benefit of tribal communities and members.
PURPOSE: The Tribal Business Planning Grants (TBPG) of the Indian Country Economic Development Program funding is intended to assist tribal governments and tribal organizations in deploying comprehensive business planning strategies and activities.
GRANT PERIOD: July 1 to September 30, 2019
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: The governing bodies of each of Montana’s eight tribal governments are the only eligible applicants for this portion of the Program. Should a governing body not make application by the deadline, legally recognized tribal organizations may apply for the funding.
GRANT AMOUNT: A maximum of $30,000 per governing body per fiscal year will be available in fiscal year 2020. The Department retains sole and broad discretion over the use of any funds not applied for by an eligible governing body by September 30, 2019 for the fiscal year.
INFORMATION TO GATHER BEFORE STARTING THE APPLICATION:
- Tribal resolution authorizing application and specifying activity
- Download the forms above and complete for upload
ELIGIBLE USES OF GRANT FUNDS: Eligible activities include the following activities evidenced by tangible deliverables (i.e. ordinances, codes, business planning, study, and analysis documents, etc.):
- Business plan development
- Market analysis
- Feasibility study
- Physical business infrastructure planning, such as zoning
- Legal and financial codification or ordinances benefiting business(es)
TBPG funds can be used to match other funding sources in the above areas as long as the funding is not duplicative. The following activities will not be funded:
- Operation and maintenance costs or expenses;
- Financial expenses, included but not limited to interest expense, bond issuance costs, or any other debt-related costs or expenses;
- Reimbursement for activities completed prior to application;
- Reimbursement for activities not related to business planning;
- Duplicative reimbursement for activities receiving funding for the same services, equipment, or improvements through any other local, state, or federal grant or funding program, except as necessary to fully fund the project; or
- Projects whose primary development will be a casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.
REVIEW CRITERIA FOR APPLICATIONS: The Program will first review the application for completeness and sufficiency. During the review, the Program may contact the applicant to discuss any concerns or questions or to request additional information or documentation. The Program may require additional information from the applicant to clarify information presented in the application. Site visits by the Program may be made to the proposed project area for the purpose of verifying or further evaluating information contained in the application.
After the application is deemed complete and sufficient information is available to evaluate the proposed project(s), the application will be evaluated on the extent to which the project proposal meets the goals and objectives of the Program, using the following criteria:
- Potential for the project to help applicants make more strategic decisions about the start-up, expansion, or diversification of a tribal enterprise or venture.
- Likelihood that a specified feasibility study is of sufficient magnitude to have a significant economic impact on the future economic development of the reservation;
- Likelihood that the specified planning activity will provide important or relevant guidance for decision making in the development of land, resources, business, financial or legal infrastructure.
- Overall quality of the application, including measurable project goals, tasks, and activities, a well-developed work plan and budget, and easily identifiable deliverables.
- Capability of the applicant to undertake and satisfactorily complete the project and ensure proper management and reporting of Program funds (i.e. use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles- GAAP).
The Program will present the evaluation of each application to an internal Grant Review Committee. The applicant can notify the Program if he/she would like to make a 10-minute presentation to the Grant Review Committee. The Committee will review the application and make a preliminary funding recommendation to the Director of the Department, who makes the final funding decision.
RECEIPT OF APPLICATION AND GRANT NOTIFICATION: Once a project has been approved by the Director, The Tribe or organization will be notified by award letter of the grant. A contract will be executed between the Department and the tribal government by a digital routing and signature process requiring a valid email for the digital execution of the contract by the tribal signatory. If an application has not been approved, program staff will notify the authorized application preparer and will work with staff to modify or improve the application.
Indian Country Program Guidelines