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Finance

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WASHINGTON — A new federal initiative aims to invest $100 million to help Indigenous communities economically recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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WASHINGTON — Native community development financial institutions received a $54.6 million funding boost yesterday as part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Rapid Response Program. 

Oweesta Executive Director Chrystel Cornelius
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LONGMONT, Colo. — Last summer, Oweesta Corp., the longest standing Native funder of Native-run community development financial institutions in the nation, split from First Nations Development Institute, its parent company for 20 years.

Jason Friedman, CEO of Friedman Associates LLC
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The new Small Dollar Loan program under the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund could provide some new opportunities for Native CDFIs to serve their clients. 

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SHAWNEE, Okla. — The Citizen Potawatomi Nation-owned First National Bank & Trust has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a larger state-chartered bank headquartered in Oklahoma City.

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Cryptocurrency company NativeCoin hopes to use blockchain technology to build an economy for Native Americans, by Native Americans.

Jackson Brossy
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Despite a 22-percent federal funding boost for Community Development Financial Institutions, Native CDFI leaders say the increase fails to meet the needs for their organizations, whose funding has remained static for the last seven years. 

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OKANOGAN, Wash. — When COVID-19 sounded alarm bells across the world last winter, photographer and small business owner Roxanne Best watched as her fledgling business suffered one lost gig after another.

Tawney Brunsch
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KYLE, S.D. — Like most Native lending institutions, Lakota Funds was boxed out of distributing federal small business loans to its clients based on criteria set by the government. 

Executive Director Tawney Brunsch (Oglala Sioux) knew the certified Native community development financial institution (CDFI) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota was still in a position to help clients get needed resources, so she got creative. 

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When many Native American entrepreneurs seek funding for a business venture, they often face an equity and lending structure that was not designed for them.