MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock announced $350,000 in funding to support the growth of 34 Native American-owned small businesses in each of the eight Tribal Nations in Montana through the Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant program at the Montana Department of Commerce. 

“Investing in Native American-owned small businesses means investing in opportunities to create jobs and strengthen local and tribal economies across Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “The Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant is one of the best tools the state has available to directly support entrepreneurs and small business owners in Indian Country.”

The Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant program invests in start-up or expanding Native American-owned businesses in Montana. Funds can be used for costs associated with a variety of business growth activities, such as the purchase of new equipment or the development of a new product line. 

Each business will receive between $3,750 and $14,000 and must provide matching funds. 

The following 34 entrepreneurs and small businesses owners will share $350,000 in Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grants:

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

  • Cahoon Construction & Fire (Charlo)
  • Crash & Burn Auto (Moiese)
  • Blue Bay Trading Post (Polson)
  • Flathead Raft Company (Polson)
  • Total Screen Design Inc. (Polson)

Blackfeet Tribe

  • Border Package Pick-up (Babb)
  • Glacier Drip Mobile Coffee Shop (Babb)
  • Paula’s All Occasion Gifts (Browning)
  • Skunkcap Painting (Cut Bank)
  • Sunshine Woman Creations (East Glacier) 

Chippewa Cree Tribe

  • E and E Tire Repair (Box Elder)
  • Nate’s Gona Fix It (Havre)
  • Rebekah Jarvey (Havre)
  • Binary Computer Repair (Pablo)

Crow Tribe

  • Metal Solutions (Billings)
  • Bomb-Cha’achik (Pryor)
  • Diamond Hanging 7 Guest Ranch (Pryor)
  • River Bend Lodge (St. Xavier) 

Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes

  • Against All Odds (Billings)
  • KillEagle Construction (Dodson)
  • Fetters Garage (Fort Belknap Reservation area)
  • EH Excavation (Hays)

Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes

  • Redgrave Education Services (Billings)
  • Redbyrd Designs (Glasgow)
  • Turcotte Food Bus (Wolf Point)
  • Whatever Construction (Wolf Point)

Little Shell Chippewa Tribe

  • Fry Bread Fusion (Billings)
  • McGillis Alignment Repair (Black Eagle) 
  • TS Cattle Processing Company (East Glacier)
  • MJL Properties (Havre)

Northern Cheyenne Tribe

  • Roxy’s Rockin Coffee Shop (Ashland)
  • Rosebud Tipi Campground (Busby)
  • Josh Sioux Welding (Lame Deer)
  • Mike’s Tool Box (Lame Deer)

The competitive Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant is one of three proven grant programs within the Office of Indian Country Economic Development (OICED) at Commerce that is considered for funding by the Montana Legislature each biennium and was funded most recently as part of House Bill 2 in 2019. Together with the Native American Business Advisors grant and the Tribal Business Planning Grant, these programs continue to articulate measurable success for investing in business and economic development activities on reservations in partnership with tribal governments, Native American economic development organizations and Native American-owned businesses to strengthen local and tribal economies.

Due to the continued success of these programs, Governor Bullock included funding for them in his proposed 2023 Biennium Executive Budget.

The application cycle for the Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant typically opens annually on July 1. Applicants are encouraged to work with their local Native American Business Advisors to put together competitive applications and gain valuable business skills and access to business counseling services year-round.

To learn more about the Office of Indian Country Economic Development programs, visit INDIANCOUNTRY.MT.GOV.

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