CSKT to administer over $1 million in U.S. Department of Treasury CARES Act funding to eligible CSKT-member-owned small businesses and livestock producers operating on the Flathead Reservation. Grant application website to launch in coming days. 

PABLO — In response to the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation are designating over $1 million in financial assistance to CSKT-member-owned small businesses. Using funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, the CSKT Small Business Relief Grants are part of the Tribal Council’s Economic Recovery and Revitalization plan to help businesses adapt to the challenges of the global health pandemic. The CSKT Economic Development Office will launch the grant application website portal in the coming days.  

Awarded funds will be used to help support qualified CSKT-member-owned small businesses and active CSKT-member livestock producers in the recovery, stabilization, and adaptation of business operations. A business can apply for up to $20,000 of working capital to help stabilize business operations for up to 9.5 months. If needed, businesses can also apply for up to $10,000 toward adaptation equipment and supplies. If a business needs both stabilization and adaption funds, the owner can apply for up to $30,000 in total funding. 

“Native-owned small businesses are the driving force for economic stability on Reservations across the country, providing critical jobs and income to Tribal families, while enriching the quality of community life with goods and services enjoyed by local citizens,” said Tribal Chairwoman Shelly Fyant.  

When the application process opens, CSKT will invite CSKT-member-owned businesses located on the Flathead Reservation that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 to apply for the new CSKT Small Business Relief Grants. Funds can be used for working capital to support payroll, rent, accounts payable (such as utilities and vendors), debt services, and expenses related to shifts in operations (such as the purchase of personal protective equipment). CSKT’s goal for this funding is to help Tribal business owners retain their existing businesses, current employees and remain viable for future re-employment.

“Supporting Tribal businesses and livestock producers is key to our economic recovery,” Chairwoman Fyant said. “Tribal businesses have endured this unforeseen crisis, and this support is crucial for their survival. The recovery will take time, but the grants can help them adapt and retool as needed.”  

To assist business owners with the application process, the Economic Development Office and Salish and Kootenai Business Services have teamed up to offer direct technical support when the portal opens.  Advisors are standing by to help business owners prepare and successfully apply for the grant. Printed applications may be requested as well. The deadline for all applications will be Nov. 15, 2020, or until funds are exhausted. 

“We encourage eligible businesses to start preparing their financial documents now, so they will be ready to start the application when the portal launches,” said CSKT Economics Director Velda Shelby. “Our hope is that we will be able to help many small businesses, so they can continue vital services to our community.”

A full list of eligibility requirements and information needed for the CSKT Small Business Relief Grant application is listed at cskteconomics.org, including CSKT enrollment, 2019 Federal Income Tax Return, verification of certified business, and estimated financial losses and costs to re-open. 

Grants are limited to one business entity per application, and the business or sole proprietor must have either a Preference 1 certification from the CSKT Indian Preference Office, a 2020 Montana Certificate from the Secretary of State’s Office showing good standing, or an active Montana Brand registration certificate with current CSKT agricultural lease.  Priority will be given to applicants who have not received funding from the SBA Payroll Protection Program or other coronavirus relief programs, such as the Montana Business Stabilization or Adaptation Grant or the FSA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. However, all Tribal businesses are encouraged to apply regardless of former awards.

CSKT Small Business Relief Grants eligibility requirements and information needed are listed below. Questions may be directed to info@csktbusinessrelief.com, Tina Begay at 406-544-1245, or James Bible at 406-883-4317.

CSKT Small Business Relief Grants eligibility requirements: 

  • Must be a Flathead Reservation-based company 
  • Must be an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
  • Must be registered as a Preference 1 business in good standing with the CSKT Indian Preference Office, OR have a certificate in good standing from the Montana Secretary of State’s Office, OR have a certificate of good standing from CSKT if an LLC registered with CSKT, OR an active Montana Livestock Brand registration certificate
  • Must have filed 2019 taxes for the business
  • Businesses established in January or February 2020 must be able to provide receipts, invoices and payroll reports showing 2020 revenue and expenses
  • Had 50 or fewer part- or full-time employees prior to February 15, 2020
  • Sustained a loss of revenue due to COVID-19 since February 15, 2020
  • May not be a marijuana-based business

Information needed for the grant application:

  • Estimate financial loss
  • Estimated cost to re-establish business operations
  • 2019 Federal Income Tax Return showing business’ annual revenue and expenses for 2019
  • Payroll reports from March 2020 to present (if business has employees)
  • Copy of up-to-date Indian Preference Office certificate, livestock brand registration, certificate of good standing from the Montana Secretary of State’s Office, or a certificate of good standing from CSKT if business is an LLC registered with CSKT

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