Purpose of the Grant: The Native American Business Advisors (NABAs) Grant is a fund to support the activities of Native American community-based organizations, tribal colleges, and tribal government organizations that support private sector business development on reservations and in tribal communities. These entities offer business counseling and credit counseling, and application support to Native American businesses in Montana. The NABAs are a key community asset necessary in the development and success of Native American businesses. To develop this asset, the Program is focused on increasing the technical capacity of the NABA network such as assisting individuals in business start-up, marketing, utilization of business resources, and commercial loan application assistance. Additionally, NABAs will also provide more robust application assistance to the Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant applicants. A total of $15,000 per year is available to fund up to eight NABA applications in each of tribal nation areas.
Eligible applicants include local Native American development organizations that have offered technical assistance services to pre-venture and established Native American businesses in Montana. Additionally, those organizations that have been awarded NABA grants in the past must either demonstrate a history of submitting timely reports and meeting required performance targets or must provide a detailed plan demonstrating a commitment to meeting reporting, capacity building, and performance targets.
Activities of the grant include:
- BUSINESS COUNSELING SERVICES- assist applicants in creating, writing, and implementing a business plan, establishing product or service cost structures, assisting with market analysis and feasibility resources, establishing realistic financial projections, or providing marketing and sales instruction and information.Note: NABAs should establish regular times to which they are available and can schedule business counseling and Indian Equity Fund Small Business application assistance.
- INDIAN EQUITY FUND SMALL BUSINESS GRANT APPLICATION TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- assist a minimum of 12 Native American businesses with developing and submitting quality applications via the SubmittableTM online platform to the Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant program for fiscal year 2018 and 2019 funding. A minimum of six (6) businesses should be targeted for submission each fiscal year.
- COMMERCIAL LOAN APPLICATION ASSISTANCE- assist Native American businesses (where applicable) with developing and submitting a commercial loan application such as those submitted to a community bank, a community-based lender, tribal loan program, or program such as USDA.
- ASSOCIATION OF ACCREDITED SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANTS (AASBC) CERTIFICATION- participating organizations will need to have at least one staff test and become certified as an Accredited Small Business Consultant™.Organizations will be responsible for maintaining or expanding staff accreditation during fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
- IEF & SUBMITTABLETM APPPLICATION TRAINING- for those grantees not familiar with the online SubmittableTM application platform, they will need to schedule a one-on-one webinar or onsite visit to complete a hands-on training by mid July 2017.
- CAPACITY BUIDLING ACTIVITIES- each organization can propose additional activities to enhance their services to their communities. Enhanced areas of focus for FY 2019 include:
- CULTURAL HERITAGE TOURISM CERTIFICATION- for those NABAs who would like to increase their organization capacity to:
- expand their organization’s understanding of trends in cultural heritage and native tourism,
- learn best options and approaches for managing tourism at the community level
- understand how to conduct a comprehensive tourism assessment and evaluate the potential of cultural heritage tourism for your community, or
- gain tools needed to introduce cultural heritage tourism to your community and to plans for its adoption and growthAn online George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies training is available October 1- November 14, 2018 at a cost of $2,775. The cost of 6-8 hours of additional staff time per week (training is 6 weeks) to participate in the training can be added into the budget. Registration deadline is September 21, 2018 and can be completed online at: http://www.cvent.com/events/professional-certificate-in-cultural-heritage-tourism/event-summary-1d94b0b9c65847dcb47296db0b7a0818.aspx.
- SPECIALIZED BUSINESS LISTINGS- where appropriate, grantees are encouraged to provide enrollment or application services for specialized business listings. Examples of this would include assisting producers register for the Native American Made in Montana designation through the Made in Montana program and/or registration of a tourism-related business listing on the visitmt.com website or claiming online listings such as Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, etc.
- CREDIT COUNSELING SERVICES- applicants can also chose to provide training (where applicable) for individuals to strengthen their financial management skills such as developing and utilizing a budget, understanding and establishing creditworthiness and accessing credit.
Indian Country Economic Development (ICED) Program 2018-2019 Biennial Application Guidelines