Big Sky Roundup

Montana Department of Commerce awards grants to Native-owned small businesses

By: - June 25, 2021 8:43 am

The Montana Department of Commerce today announced $86,500 in funding to support the growth of 14 Native American-owned small businesses through the Tribal Tourism Digital Business Development Grant at the Montana Department of Commerce.

“Native-owned and tourism-related businesses were hit especially hard by COVID-19,” Commerce Director Scott Osterman said. “As these businesses look ahead to a brighter future, they will be more prepared with the digital resources and tools they need to reach and serve the modern-day traveler.”

The Tribal Tourism Digital Business Development Grant is a competitive grant program to help Native American-owned businesses related to the tourism industry emerge from COVID-19 restrictions better positioned to generate revenue by establishing or strengthening digital distribution or promotion of their products and services. Eligible project categories include professional content development, website development and virtual experiences.

Each business will receive between $5,500 and $6,250 and must provide matching funds.

The following 14 entrepreneurs and small businesses owners will share $86,500 in Tribal Tourism Digital Business Development grants:

Blackfeet Tribe

  • Leaning Tree Café (Babb)
  • Sunshine Woman Creations (East Glacier)
  • DeBoo’s Ranch Adventures (Valier)

Chippewa Cree Tribe

  • Mel’s Diner doing business as Krusty Krab Fireworks (Box Elder)

Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

  • Flathead Raft Company (Polson)
  • Hardup Land (Hot Springs)
  • Keepers of the Seasons (Arlee)
  • Water People Tours & Kapapa (Elmo)

Crow Tribe

  • Indian Battle Tours (Crow Agency)
  • Wellknown Buffalo Café (Garryowen)

Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes

  • Bishop Guide Service (Malta)

Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes

  • Redbyrd Designs (Glasgow)

Northern Cheyenne Tribe

  • Sage & Oats Trading Post (Helena)
  • Native Country Tourism (Ashland)

The Tribal Tourism Digital Business Development grant is a limited-time pilot program; however, the Department of Commerce will open the application cycle for another program, the Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant, on July 1, 2021.

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