Success Stories

The Office of Indian Country Economic Development have helped hundreds of Native American businesses achieve success. We are excited to showcase the positive impacts our programs have made with native entrepreneurs across the state, as told from their perspectives. The businesses worked hard with our team and the Native American Business assistance (NABAs) to build and expand upon their business through the Indian Equity Fund.  

The Indian Equity Fund small business grant assists start-up or expanding Native American business in Montana. The money can be used for a variety of activities such as the purchase of new equipment or the development of a new product line.

Border Package PickupBorder Package Pickup, located 8 miles from the border in Babb, provides an affordable and convenient alternative to traditional shipping and receiving of packages between Canada and the U.S.

Owner Michelle Hannon’s family established the business 20 years ago. Their Canadian friends were their first customers, and the business expanded from there. Today, Michelle serves customers from across the region, even as far as Edmonton.

Border Package Pickup received a $3,750 grant to purchase a storage shed, which increased its capacity to store packages and in turn, increased hours for its part-time staff. The total cost of the new shed is $7,000, and the business paid the difference. A cash match requirement of one-to-one was also provided. With the border reopening from its pandemic closure, Border Package Pickup will be busier—but also more prepared for the demand—than ever.

Nate's Gonna Fix It

Nate’s Gona Fix It is an automotive repair shop in Havre specializing in diagnosis and repair of most vehicle systems.

Owner Nathan Chandler has more than 20 years of experience, and the next lead technician has more than seven. Both have been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), with Chandler receiving Master Technician status.

Nate’s Gona Fix It received a $14,000 grant, which covered more than half the cost of a complete Hunter brand alignment lift rack with the necessary components, which is increasing the business’s capacity to serve customers and hire another technician. A one-to-one match requirement was provided in the form of a work truck.

Total Screen Design

Total Screen Design is a textile and embroidery business in Polson.

Before COVID-19, Total Screen Design employed 11 people. The pandemic caused the staff to drop to only 5 for a period of time, but now the business is back on track with 9 employees and counting.

With a $3,750 grant, Total Screen Design purchased a new print dryer, which will expand its capacity to fulfill orders and support the growth of its workforce. A one-to-one match was provided in the form of an existing print machine and conveyor screen print dryer.

This grant tremendously helped a Native owned business get through and grow,” said owner Steve Lozar.

Diamond Hanging 7 Guest Ranch

Diamond Hanging 7 Guest Ranch in Pryor welcomes visitors from across the U.S. and Europe, who enjoy its unique blend of Native American culture, western style, and outdoor adventures. It attracts visitors attending Crow Fair and other community events as well as birthday parties, family reunions, weddings, and more.

With a $12,000 grant, the ranch is remodeling, upgrading, and repairing its existing cabins and other guest facilities. The ranch’s existing cabins were used to meet the one-to-one match requirement.

Killeagle Construction

KillEagle Construction of Dodson is a family business specializing in custom carpentry and providing other contracted services such as concrete, framing, roofing, and siding.

KillEagle received a grant for $12,000, which contributed to the purchase of a new three-quarter-ton pickup truck to haul a covered trailer, which the business uses to transport materials. With the new equipment, KillEagle is able to transport more materials more efficiently. Work vehicles were used to meet the one-to-one match requirement.

Redbyrd Designs

Redbyrd Designs of Glasgow is a community of members who enjoy crafting and painting, especially as a therapeutic retreat from the day-to-day stresses of life.

With a $14,000 grant, Redbyrd Designs purchased an industrial laser cutter for producing DIY craft kits. With its new equipment, the business is better positioned to serve more customers and may even tap into the wholesale market. A cash match and an existing laser cutter were used to meet the one-to-one match requirement.

We are so grateful for the opportunity that this program has given us,” said owner Byrdie Larsen. “This has been a dream of ours to scale our business to the point where we needed a large production laser, but it was always down the road. So this program has expedited our timeline and made this dream come true. We’d like to thank everyone including the review committee, everyone in OICED, and special thanks to Mark Sansaver with GNDC, who helped with the process, stepped in, and held hands and helped overcome fears.

McGillis Alignment

McGillis Alignment Repair in Black Eagle doesn’t advertise except by word of mouth, but it’s still well known to the community for doing a little bit of (almost) everything.

The business received a grant for $13,333, which contributed to the cost of an alignment rack. With the new equipment, owner David McGillis is able to work on newer and larger vehicles, which didn’t fit the older and smaller alignment rack.

This is the second expansion for McGillis Alignment Repair, which previously received a $7,000 grant to assist with gaining access to water for the shop. A cash match was used to meet the one-to-one match requirement.

Roxy's Rockin' Coffee Shop

Roxy’s Rockin Coffee Shop has been a fixture of Ashland since it opened in 2014.

Originally serving from a small trailer, the business is now located at a permanent site right off U.S. 212.

Roxy’s received a grant for $5,750 to purchase a new espresso machine, which is helping the shop keep up with the growing demand both from local residents and from people who drive in from out of town in pursuit of high-quality coffee. Roxy used a trailer, equipment, inventory, and a work vehicle to meet the one-to-one match requirement.