The Montana Department of Commerce announced Thursday that eight tribes in Montana will receive $20,000 to support Native-owned small businesses. (Photo: ~File)

The Montana Department of Commerce announced recently that eight tribes in Montana will receive $20,000 to support Native-owned small businesses.

Funding was made available through the Commerce’s Native American Business Advisors program, which supports Indigenous entrepreneurs as they start and grow businesses. The program provides resources, writing assistance and financial counseling to help local economies, according to a news release. 

“This program is a tremendous boost to our local business owners and we look forward to helping those businesses achieve success,” said Janet Camel, economic development planning director for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. 

Paul Tuss, executive director of Bear Paw Development Corporation, said the grant will allow the organization to continue providing support services to Native entrepreneurs.

Founder and Executive Director of Plenty Doors Community Development Charlene Johnson said the grant will allow her business to support other businesses.

“This is helpful in that it’s capacity-building,” she said. “We assist small businesses and provide financial literacy and various types of education to entrepreneurs and community members, and we will be able able to do that better with this funding.”

The following Native-owned businesses will receive grant funding:

  • Bear Paw Development Corporation (Chippewa Cree)
  • Nakoda-Aaniiih Credit Agency (Fort Belknap Indian Community)
  • Great Northern Development Corporation (Assiniboine and Sioux tribes)
  • NACDC Financial Services (Blackfeet Tribe)
  • Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • People’s Partners for Community Development (Northern Cheyenne)
  • Plenty Doors Community Development Corporation (Crow Tribe) 
  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Economic Development Department

This article contains information from a press release. 

Nora Mabie covers Indigenous communities for the Great Falls Tribune. She can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Facebook @NoraMabieJournalist or on Twitter @NoraMabie

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