WASHINGTON, D.C. – Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Economic Development announced that its Native American Business Development Institute (NABDI) program has awarded business development grants totaling $500,000 to 10 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes. The funding will enable the tribes’ to better evaluate and identify viable economic opportunities for their communities.
“Native American Business Development Institute grants empower tribes to make informed decisions about their economic futures,” said Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “Tribes will use these grants to explore opportunities to further economic self-sufficiency and tribal self-determination. Indian Affairs and the Department use these grants to support them in achieving these goals.”
NABDI awards fund feasibility studies that weigh the viability and risks of an economic development project, opportunity, enterprise or business or the practicality of a technology a tribe may choose to pursue. The studies may be used to determine the likelihood of success for businesses in specific American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
When performed by a reputable third party, an economic development feasibility study also can be used to help persuade lenders and investors to provide financial backing. A study that concludes a project is worthwhile and financially sustainable can often fulfill many of a lender’s or investor’s due diligence requirements by answering questions about a project’s chances of success, resulting in a more rapid loan approval or better loan terms. Feasibility studies can also be used to examine the credibility of a project promoter and claims made regarding a specific project.
Grants are awarded on the basis of a proposal’s potential to create jobs for tribal members and stimulate economies in Native American communities.
The list of FY2021 grant recipients and award amounts can be found on the NABDI website at https://www.bia.gov/service/grants/nabdi/awards.