PABLO — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ (CSKT) Economic Development Office is offering grants for start-up businesses or businesses that are considering expansion by offering a new product or service. Applications are due February 22, 2021. 

This is the final year of the Indian Business Assistance Project which provides small grants, ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 each, to existing or new CSKT member-owned businesses. This program is separate from the grants recently offered for business relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indian Business Assistance Project grants require a minimum dollar-to-dollar match from the business owner that 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. Grants can be used for activities such as the purchase of new equipment or inventory or development of a new product line.

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 product or service. 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 cover letter, business plan and financial projections. 

Applications must be typed and include the following:

  • Proposal letter that states the amount of funding requested, its purpose, and a detailed description of the match to be provided 
  • Business Plan that describes the nature of the business, its product or service, its market, customers and competition, and includes a marketing plan and business strategy for the next 3 years, and a 3-year cash flow projection
  • Resume(s) that outlines the background and experience of the owner(s) and each of the principal employees 
  • Documentation of CSKT enrollment
  • Tax returns for the last two years, if available
  • Financial statements, both personal and business
  • Supporting documentation that supports the information in the grant proposal, such as a building lease, contracts, invoices, vendor quotes and letters of reference.
  • If a loan is included as match, the application must also include a loan repayment plan or schedule, and information and collateral used to obtain the loan

Application packets are available from Janet Camel, CSKT Economic Development Office. She can be reached via telephone at 675-2700, extension 1256, or at

Officials from three local banks are volunteering their time to review and rank the applications. Successful recipients will receive notification of their awards in April. Awards are made through a Tribal contract and invoice process, and payment is not immediate.

Over the past eight years, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have awarded 62 Business Assistance grants to Tribal members who own businesses on the Reservation.


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