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Growing Access to Capital in Indian Country

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Growing Access to Capital in Indian Country

By Christopher James, SBA Official
Published: March 7, 2012
The Obama administration has made growing access to capital a top priority for Native American small businesses. I recently took part in a roundtable discussion on access to capital in Indian Country with nearly 150 Native American small business owners, representatives from eight federal agencies, and the White House Domestic Policy Council. We had an open dialogue about ways to provide better federal resources and improve federal capital access programs at the 2012 Reservation Economic Summit and American Indian Business Trade Fair in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Capital Access Roundtable, hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Small Business Administration, brought together federal representatives, and Native American and lending organizations to look at how to better meet the needs of tribal and Native American businesses in need of financial support that spurs business growth and development. The summit included Native American entrepreneurs, tribal economic and business development decision-makers, tribal leaders, corporate managers and government administrators to talk about a range of issues that impact Indian Country. The discussion during the Capital Access Roundtable focused on the opportunities, challenges, best practices, and ways we can improve small business lending in Indian Country. The roundtable exchange also focused on lending institutions that provide financing to Indian Country businesses, and the tribal perspective was a key part of the discussion. We addressed some of the issues that exist in commercial lending to Native American and tribal businesses. I was happy to share the progress that has been made by the working groups represented, and I was motivated to hear from the entrepreneurs who have used our programs. They freely shared their suggestions and advice on how we can improve those programs and resources. As we listened to the small business owners we met, we were reminded of the vital role of Native Americans in growing our economy. Going forward, we will expand on our ongoing efforts, take back what was heard at the roundtable, and work to identify policies that will continue to improve economic development in Indian Country. This is a collaborative process, and we will continue to expand assistance to tribes as we develop systems to access credit and capital. We are committed to fill the gaps to meet the financing needs of Native American small businesses.

About the Author:

Christopher James

SBA Official

Global Chef and Entrepreneur

Comments:

This is good news for India-based businesses. Good article

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