The Office of Indian Country Economic Development Programs will begin accepting applications to the fiscal year 2021 Native American Business Advisor Grant program starting June 22, 2020. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2020.
PURPOSE: Provide funding to organizations and entities that support private sector business development on reservations and in tribal communities. For additional guidance, click on the GUIDELINES.
ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: The funds are available to Native American development organizations that offer technical assistance services to pre-venture and established Native American businesses in Montana. Additionally, those organizations that have been awarded NABA grants in the past should either demonstrate a history of submitting timely reports and meeting required performance targets or should provide a detailed plan demonstrating a commitment to meeting reporting, capacity building, and performance targets.
GRANT AMOUNT: $20,000
REQUIRED ACTIVITIES (applicants must demonstrate within their applications how they will complete the following activity requirements):
- BUSINESS COUNSELING SERVICES-assist applicants in creating, writing, and implementing a business plan, establishing product or service cost structures, assisting with market analysis and feasibility resources, establishing realistic financial projections, or providing marketing and sales instruction and information. Note: NABAs should establish regular times to which they are available and can schedule business counseling and Indian Equity Fund Small Business application assistance.
- INDIAN EQUITY FUND SMALL BUSINESS GRANT APPLICATION TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE - a minimum of six (6) Native American businesses must be assisted with developing and submitting a quality application through the online IEF application platform.
- COMMERCIAL LOAN APPLICATION ASSISTANCE - assist Native American businesses (where applicable) with developing and submitting a commercial loan application such as those submitted to a community bank, a community-based lender, tribal loan program, or program such as USDA.
- ASSOCIATION OF ACCREDITED SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANTS (AASBC) CERTIFICATION - participating organizations will need to have at least one staff test and become certified as an Accredited Small Business Consultant™. Organizations new to the NABA network must budget and plan for at least one staff member to obtain this accreditation.
- CAPACITY BUILDING ACTIVITIES - applicants are encouraged to utilize funding to increase their business assistance capacity through training, certifications, or additional business development activities the organization would like to provide. Tribal tourism capacity building and Native American Made in Montana producer registration are priority areas of focus. Each NABA organizations can focus on specialized capacity development activities including individual trainings, workshops, classes, and professional development that are specific to the organization. Some of these activities can include:
Native American Made in Montana producer registration assistance (department staff can assist with an enrollment workshop).
VisitMT.com Tribal Tourism Business Listing Assistance (department staff can assist with developing business listings).
George Washington University Cultural Heritage Tourism certification (October 5, 2020 to November 22, 2020 is a graduate level course available online for those organizations that would like to increase their organization's capacity to understanding of trends in cultural heritage and native tourism, learn best options and approaches for managing tourism at the community level, understand how to conduct a comprehensive tourism assessment and evaluate the potential of cultural heritage tourism for your community, and gain tools needed to introduce cultural heritage tourism to your community and to plans for its adoption and growth.
- CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICES - provide training (where applicable) for individuals to strengthen their financial management skills such as developing and utilizing a budget, understanding and establishing creditworthiness and accessing credit.
INELIGIBLE USES OF GRANT FUNDS: The following activity will not be funded:
- Reimbursement for activities completed prior to application.
- Reimbursement for activities not related to capacity and business development assistance services, or
- 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.
NABA Grant Forms (to be filled out and submitted with online application):
APPLICATION ASSISTANCE: Contact Maria Valandra at (406) 841-2061 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
RECEIPT OF APPLICATION- Once submitted each application is assessed by the Program. Applications that are incomplete or lack clarity can be re-opened for editing to the applicant but still must meet the application deadline.
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.