FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 13, 2015
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Ronja Abel, Communications Director, Department of Commerce, 437-2359
Governor Bullock Announces Funding for Crow Tribe to Increase Access to Capital and Expand Entrepreneurial Resources for Indian Country
HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock and Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary today announced the award of $65,000 to support economic development efforts by the Crow Tribe. The funds are being made available through the Indian Country Economic Development (ICED) Program.
“One of the greatest challenges to economic development in Indian Country is access to capital. This grant will support efforts by the Crow Tribe to make capital more available and lay the foundation for a strong regional economy,” said Bullock. “We will continue to engage with all tribal governments across Montana to support tribal entrepreneurial ventures, create and retain jobs, and further develop infrastructure on reservations.”
The grant will be used primarily to fund processes that will help the Apsaalooke Nation Revolving Loan Fund obtain a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification, resulting in a self-sustaining financial institution that provides much-needed access to capital on the Crow reservation for businesses. Other grant monies will go towards facilitating more entrepreneur trainings and outreach and marketing efforts.
“The ICED Program is a proven economic development resource that drives innovative solutions and initiatives to enhance business growth in reservation economies,” said O’Leary. “With these funds, the Crow Tribe will be able to increase their business development efforts and support Native business owners and entrepreneurs.”
Yolanda GoodVoice, Business Loan Manager for the Crow Tribe, emphasized the importance of increasing access to capital on the reservation.
“We want to continue on with the success of the loan fund, our efforts focused on getting Crow people ready to borrow, getting qualified borrowers reservation-based financing, and solidifying the Apsaalooke Development Fund as a sustainable institution established to serve the Crow nation into the future,” GoodVoice said.
For more information, contact Heather Sobrepena-George, Program Manager, Indian Country Economic Development, at (406) 841-2775 or visit www.iced.mt.gov.
Bullock has made economic development in Indian Country a top priority of his administration. During the recently ended legislative session, he secured key victories for the efforts, including providing state recognition of tribally organized business entities, proving funds for support capital investments in Indian Country, and including ICED funding in the budget he signed into law.