Christopher [Chris] L. James was appointed assistant administrator for the Office of Native American Affairs at the U.S. Small Business Administration in July 2011. James is responsible for...
While the SBA doesn’t certify Native-owned small businesses, it does certify small businesses considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged under the nine-year 8(a) Business Development Program. Native-owned businesses are presumed to be socially disadvantage. Moreover, the federal government does not require certification as a Native-owned small business.
SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs can help ensure Native-owned small businesses have full access to the business development and expansion tools that are available through the SBA’s procurement programs.
SBA’s 8(a) program can assist eligible small businesses with their business development needs. The 8(a) program helps these firms develop and grow their businesses through one-to-one counseling, training workshops and management and technical guidance. It also provides access to government contracting opportunities, allowing businesses to become solid competitors in the federal marketplace.
Business development services provided through the 8(a) program are largely rendered by SBA's District Office staff. Business Development Specialists in each district office help with counseling and training activities, including courses and conferences related to the acquisition process and business development.
To learn more about all of the programs and resources available to you and other Native Americans, please visit the following sites:
• SBA Office of Native Americans
• Indian Affairs’ Division of Economic Development
• USDA Rural Development
• White House – Native Americans
• U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
• National Congress of American Indians
• The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
• Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
• Administration for Native Americans
• HUD Office of Native American Programs
• Tribal Business Structure Handbook