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Ninilchik Village receives White House tribal investment

 The Ninilchik Village Tribe Community Center.
Riley Board
The Ninilchik Village Tribe Community Center on

The Ninilchik Village is the recipient of a Biden administration funding program for tribal small businesses. The tribe plans to use the money for an equity and venture capital program for engineering companies, according to a report from the White House.

The State Small Business Credit Initiative provides money to states, territories and now tribes to promote the small business sector. Ninilchik was one of 15 tribes announced as recipients in late June; a White House statement says these are the first small business credit awards given directly to tribal governments.

The money comes from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, and totals $73 million given to 39 tribal governments. The White House statement says these investments in Native communities and tribes are a response to disproportionate economic hits to Native-owned businesses during the pandemic.

The Ninilchik Tribe has been approved for about $700,000 to operate a venture capital program, and says it plans to make direct co-investments in companies providing engineering-related services. The Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope in Utqiagvik is also a recipient, and is expected to receive $2.9 million.

Representatives from the Ninilchik Traditional Council did not respond to requests for comment.

Riley Board is a Report For America participant and senior reporter at KDLL covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula.
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