CSKT Accepting Coronavirus Business Relief Grant Applications

Federally allocated funds designed to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic

By Myers Reece
A sign near the sky bridge in Pablo on Sept. 12, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ economic development office is accepting applications for coronavirus small business relief grants, which the tribal chairwoman said “will help revive the health of our Flathead Reservation economy.”

The program offers over $1 million in federally allocated financial assistance to qualified CSKT-member-owned small businesses and active CSKT-member livestock producers “in the recovery, stabilization, and adaptation of business operations.”

The grants, capped at either $10,000 or $20,000 per application depending on the category, can be used for working capital to support payroll, rent, accounts payable such as utilities and vendors, debt services, and “expenses related to shifts in operations,” including the purchase of personal protective equipment.

“We are eager to get capital in the hands of our small business owners impacted by the pandemic,” Tribal Chairwoman Shelly Fyant said.

Greg DuMontier, one of four business advisors assisting with the application process, has been fielding applications from a wide range of industries on the reservation: food service, septic tank pumpers, auto mechanics, retail, construction, agribusiness. DuMontier and the other advisors answer questions and help steer applicants through the process.

“Applications are coming in and the phones are ringing,” DuMontier said last week. “For having four advisors, it’s almost at the overwhelming stage. The response has been great.”

The funds were allocated by the U.S. Treasury through the federal CARES Act “to aid in the recovery and revitalization of Tribal-member businesses impacted by the global health pandemic,” according to a press release about the CSKT small business relief program.

The grants are divided into two categories that mirror the state’s coronavirus business relief programs for small businesses. One category is “sustainability,” capped at $20,000 per grant, and the other is “adaptability,” which has a $10,000 cap.

The deadline for applications is Nov. 15, or when all funds are disbursed. Business owners will be notified if their application has been accepted within two weeks of submitting their application. Accepted applicants should receive their disbursement a week after the acceptance notification, within three weeks of application submission.

“We encourage business owners to reach out to our skilled business advisors with inquiries about eligibility requirements and the application,” CSKT Economics Director Velda Shelby said. “Our team is prepared to help qualified business owners successfully apply for funding.”

The secure online grant application portal, as well as a full list of eligibility requirements and other information, can be accessed at csktbusinessrelief.com.

Questions may be directed to info@csktbusinessrelief.com.

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