Cantwell Applauds USDA Grants for Local Tribes

Grants will fund small and emerging rural businesses; support hundreds of jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding grants to three Northwest tribal organizations for the purposes of rural business development. Two Washington state tribal organizations, the Lummi Nation Service Organization and Makah Tribal Council, will receive $99,068 and $150,000 respectively. The Oregon-based Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation will receive $150,000.
“These tribal organizations are receiving  much-needed financial investments that will help support long-term economic development in their communities,” said Senator Cantwell. “Assisting small businesses in rural areas is crucial for job creation, worker training, and improvement in overall quality of life.”
The Makah Tribal Council will use its allotment of funds to implement a geoduck clam aquaculture small business training program through the Makah Fisheries Management Department. Aquaculture is a central component to the region’s economic future.  This training program is expected to create 21 jobs on the Makah Indian Reservation.
The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation will use their funding to provide technical assistance to tribal businesses involved in fishing, transport and processing of Indian-caught salmon.  This funding will assist the Salmon People Value-Added Salmon Market Project in creating or saving roughly 106 jobs.
Cantwell, along with eight other U.S. Senators, signed a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee last year voicing support for funding to be set aside to assist economic advancement in Native American and rural communities.
The grants are administered through the USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.