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HELENA, Mont. — Each of the seven federally recognized American Indian tribes in Montana will receive grants to help them spur business development and economic growth. 

The Montana Department of Commerce on Dec. 18 announced the tribes would split $210,000 in Tribal Business Planning Grant grants. The tribes can use the funding for developing business plans, market analysis, feasibility studies and business infrastructure planning, according to the state. 

Tribes can also use the $30,000 grants as a match for other funding sources for activities related to business development. 

The Tribal Business Planning Grant recipients were: 

  • Blackfeet Tribe, which will conduct a feasibility study for a bottled water company
  • Chippewa Cree Tribe, which plans to fund a feasibility study and market analysis on plans for a meat processing facility
  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, which has proposed an acquisition of the former Big Arm General Store in Polson, Mont. The tribes plan to use the funds for a feasibility study and market analysis regarding the deal. 
  • Little Big Horn College on the Crow Reservation, which wants to develop a preliminary engineering report to expand its trades building and programs
  • Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, which aims to develop a modern zoning and development ordinance
  • Little Shell Chippewa Tribe, which will use the grant to help fund business and operation plans for three companies under its economic development entity, Little Shell Tribal Enterprises LLC
  • Northern Cheyenne Tribe, which is developing a business plan, preliminary engineering report and preliminary architectural report to develop a workforce training center

“The Tribal Business Planning Grant at Commerce supports the economic planning and business growth priorities of tribal governments and organizations in Montana,” Wayne Johnston, business assistance bureau chief at the Montana Department of Commerce, said in a statement. “As tribes identify opportunities to strengthen their economies, these grants will help their plans come to fruition.”

The department’s Office of Indian Country Economic Development offers a series of three annual grant programs aimed at improving economic conditions for Native Americans in the state.