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HELENA, Mont. — Thirty-four Native American-owned businesses received grant support from the state of Montana to help fund growth-related activities. 

The recipients that shared in the $350,000 grant funding spanned each of the eight federally recognized tribes based in the state, according to a statement from the Montana Department of Commerce, which administers the annual Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant program. 

Grantees received between $3,750 and $14,000, which must be accompanied with matching funds. The funding can go to support a range of business growth activities, including equipment purchases or new product development. 

The recipients were: 

  • From the Blackfeet Tribe, Border Package Pick-up of Babb, Glacier Drip Mobile Coffee Shop in Babb, Paula’s All Occasion Gifts of Browning, Skunkcap Painting in Cut Bank, and Sunshine Woman Creations in East Glacier
  • From the Chippewa Cree Tribe, E and E Tire Repair in Box Elder, Nate’s Gona Fix It of Havre, Rebekah Jarvey in Havre, and Binary Computer Repair in Pablo
  • From the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Cahoon Construction & Fire of Charlo, Crash & Burn Auto in Moiese, Blue Bay Trading Post in Polson, Flathead Raft Company of Polson, and Total Screen Design Inc., also of Polson
  • From the Crow Tribe, Metal Solutions in Billings, Bomb-Cha'achik in Pryor, Diamond Hanging 7 Guest Ranch in Pryor, and River Bend Lodge of St. Xavier
  • From the Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes, Against All Odds of Billings, KillEagle Construction in Dodson, Fetters Garage in the Fort Belknap Reservation area, and EH Excavation in Hays 
  • From the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Redgrave Education Services in Billings, Redbyrd Designs in Glasgow, Turcotte Food Bus of Wolf Point, and Whatever Construction, also of Wolf Point
  • From the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe, Fry Bread Fusion of Billings, McGillis Alignment Repair in Black Eagle, TS Cattle Processing Company in East Glacier, and MJL Properties of Havre
  • From the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Roxy's Rockin Coffee Shop in Ashland, Rosebud Tipi Campground of Busby, Josh Sioux Welding in Lame Deer, and Mike’s Tool Box, also of Lame Deer

The competitive grants, which were announced in late December, are one of three successful state programs administered by the Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Indian Country Economic Development. Previously, the state awarded $210,000 in business planning grants to entities at each of the seven tribes, as Tribal Business News reported

“Investing in Native American-owned small businesses means investing in opportunities to create jobs and strengthen local and tribal economies across Montana,” former Montana Governor Steve Bullock said in a statement at the time of the grant announcement. Bullock, who unsuccessfully ran for an open U.S. Senate seat for Montana, left office on Monday as Gov. Greg Gianforte was sworn in. 

“The Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant is one of the best tools the state has available to directly support entrepreneurs and small business owners in Indian Country,” Bullock stated.