The State of Montana is committed to working closely with Montana's Indian Tribes. Virtually all of the programs contained in the Montana Finance Information Center website are available to Montana's Tribal Governments and Native American business owners. There may be a few exceptions, such as the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG). The tribes have access to the CDBG program directly from the Department of Housing and Urban Development instead of through the state program.
State Tribal Resources
Indian Country Programs
Indian Country Programs are a family of within the Montana Department of Commerce that provide all of the business resources available to Native American businesses and tribal governments in Montana under one office. Following are the programs that are housed in Indian Country Programs:
- Indian Country Economic Development (ICED) Program - The ICED Grant Program awards funds to projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of business opportunities on reservations, in tribal communities, and for Native American businesses. The grant program offers funding in three categories:
- State Tribal Economic Development Commission (STEDC) - The STEDC works in a government-to-government relationship to expand and improve economic prosperity opportunities for each of the eight tribal nations through business expansion, capital access, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and community development. The Governor appoints 11 members, including one from each of the eight tribal nations in Montana.
- Montana Indian Language Preservation (MILP) Program
- Native American Collateral Support (NACS) Program - The NACS Program addresses the lack of access to capital for Native American-owned businesses. This program was developed from the feedback of a diverse set of stakeholders that prioritized the development of a financial product and pathway for Native businesses to access financing and capitalize the launch and growth of their businesses.
Certified Regional Development Corporations Program
The Certified Regional Development Corporations (CRDC) program supports a regional approach to economic development, facilitating an efficient delivery of economic development programs by supporting regional capacity. The CRDC program supports each of the CRDCs with annual funding for economic development services supporting their region, including personnel and operating expenses, and any other expenses deemed necessary to maintain the organization’s certification as a CRDC.
Montana Indian Business Alliance
The Montana Indian Business Alliance (MIBA) is an outcome of the historic 2006 Montana Indian Business Conference that was held in Great Falls and had approximately 250 attendees. MIBA partners are comprised of organizations and entities that are interested in Indian business development. They include tribal organizations, tribal governments, state government, non-profits, tribal colleges, Indian owned businesses, Governor Bullock's office, lending institutions, consulting firms, consumer credit advocacy agencies, community development agencies, the Federal Reserve Bank and federal agencies.
Governor's Office of Indian Affairs
The Governor's Office of Indian Affairs facilitates effective communications between the State of Montana and the Tribal Nations of Montana, committed to working on a government to government basis with the governing bodies of each tribal government.
Federal Tribal Resources
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs also has programs specifically available for Tribal Governments and Native Americans in Montana.
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
For 50 years, the members of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) have provided regional leadership, and advocacy, for Northwest Tribal interests. Established in 1953 by Tribal leaders, ATNI represents 52 Tribes from primarily Oregon, Washington, Idaho, with additional member Tribes in Alaska, Western Montana, Nevada, and Northern California.
The ATNI EDC Revolving Loan Fund is a private, non-profit, Indian controlled community development fund that provides loans and technical support to Tribal for-profit enterprises for the purpose of expansion, re-location, or start-up. RLF loans are primarily made to ATNI-member Tribally owned and operated companies. Loans are also available to non-Tribal businesses involved in joint ventures with Tribal enterprises.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration also has a number of very useful and successful finance and technical assistance programs.
Housing and Urban Development
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a number of programs aimed at assisting Tribes and Native Americans. Visit their excellent website containing volumes of information. Another program for information about native american loan programs is Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.
Other Financing Resources
There are numerous local revolving loan funds located around the state with several being available principally to Native Americans. Another useful research tool for federal grants is the www.grants.gov web site.