Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Business grants available through Economic Development Office

PABLO — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Economic Development Office has received a fourth grant from the Montana Department of Commerce Indian Country Economic Development Program to fund another Indian Business Assistance Project on the Flathead Reservation. The Project provides small grants to existing or new CSKT member-owned businesses. Over the past three years, the Tribes have awarded 22 $7,000 grants and several small grants to Tribal members who own businesses on the Reservation.

The 2014 grant awards can range from $2,000 to $7,000 each, and be used for activities such as the purchase of new equipment or the development of a new product line. Applications will be accepted from April 21 through May 19. The Economic Development Office (EDO) encourages Tribal members who own or want to start a business to polish up or start writing a business plan now if interested in applying for a grant.

The grants require a minimum dollar-to-dollar match from the business owner. This match can be in the form of cash, loan funds, or in-kind. In-kind match can include inventory, supplies, equipment, tools or vehicles that are used for the business.

Due to limited funding, the grants are competitive and will be ranked according to five criteria: quality of the application, business experience of the applicant, financial projections, the business marketing plan, and quality of the match. Those with a greater financial need will also rank higher than those with the ability to obtain alternative financing. Applications from business owners who have already received a grant from EDO will be considered a low priority for funding compared to those who have not previously received a grant.

When applying, existing business owners must show how the funding will support growth in their business, either through the development of a new project or through their existing business strategy. Applicants who are proposing to start a new business must show how the funding will support the success of their start-up idea. Applicants must describe this in the application narrative, financial information and financial projections.

Applications must be typed and include a:
   • Proposal that states the amount of funding requested and its purpose
   • Description of the business, product or service, its market, customers and competition
   • A resume(s) that outlines the background and experience of the owner(s) and each of the principal employees
   • Business summary that includes a marketing plan, outlines the business strategy for the next 3 years, and a 3-year cash projection
   • If any loan is included as match, the application must also include a loan repayment plan or schedule, and copies of papers that support the information and collateral used to obtain the loan (i.e., leases, contracts, invoices, vendor quotes, letters of reference, personal or business assets such as inventory, equipment, accounts receivable, real estate and automobiles.)
   • Documentation of CSKT enrollment
   • Tax returns for the last two years, if available
   • Financial statements, both personal and business

Application packets are available from Janet Camel, CSKT Economic Development Office, or from Steve Clairmont, S&K Holding Company. Mrs. Camel’s office is located on the 2nd floor of the north wing of the Tribal Complex in Pablo. She can be reached at 675-2700, extension 1256, or at janetc@cskt.org. Mr. Clairmont’s office is north of Pablo at 56749 Highway 93. He can be reached at 883-4317 or at steve@skholdingcompany.com.

Officials from three local banks are volunteering their time to review and rank the applications. Successful recipients will receive notification of their awards in late June.

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