Welcome to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' CSKT Economics website. The following is information that will hopefully provide some 


During this COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses and individuals are suffering on the Reservation. The following information was gathered by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Economic Development Office (CSKT EDO) to assist these businesses and individuals.

*   New Federal Funds for Agricultural Producers: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) has a new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for "producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent or greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face signficant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns," etc. Apply at www.farmers.gov/cfap . FSA is accepting applications through August 28, 2020. Work with the local office in Ronan which is the drop off location for applications. Their telephone number is 676-2811.

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 *    State Grants -- Announcement from Governor Bullock's Office of Economic Development:

"Grants are still available for small businesses and non-profits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. These grants are funded by the Federal CARES Act to stabilize businesses, facilitate adaptation to safe re-opening, and accelerate innovation as our economy recovers. We ... encourage your organization to apply for these grants to ease the burden of this crisis. We're in this together, and we stand ready to help your business move forward with confidence." ALL STATE GRANT APPLICATIONS ARE AT https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief 


Montana Business Adaptation Program
The Montana Business Adaptation Program will provide reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses related to keeping staff and customers safe – from the purchase of personal protective equipment to resources needed for staff to work remotely. Eligible small business must be Montana-based, employ 50 or less, have incurred eligible adaptation expenses since
March 1 due to COVID-19, and be in good standing with the Secretary of State or local tribal government. Nonprofit entities are eligible. Eligible expenses include costs related to communication, remote work equipment, cleaning supplies, tools to enhance social distancing and sanitation, travel and hotel costs related to quarantining workers. Total funding available is $20 million, the maximum reimbursement amount per business is $5,000.

Montana Business Stabilization Program
The Montana Business Stabilization Grant program will provide working capital for small businesses to support payroll, rent, accounts payable, debt service and expenses related to shifts in operations in order to retain existing businesses, retain current employees or retain business viability for future re-employment. Eligible small business must be Montana-based, employ 50 or less, have sustained a loss of revenue since Feb. 15 due to COVID 19, and be in good standing with the Secretary of State or local tribal government. Nonprofit entities are not eligible. Total funding available is $75 million, the maximum award amount per business is $10,000. 

Emergency Housing Assistance Program will provide rent, security deposit, mortgage payment, and/or hazard insurance assistance as-needed for Montanans who have lost a job or substantial income loss as a result of COVID-19. Initial payments may include up to three months assistance where the eligible household can demonstrate arrears for April and May, with continuable inability to make their June payment. Montana Housing will pay the difference between 30 percent of the household’s current gross monthly income and their eligible housing assistance costs, up to $2,000 a month. Household income limits range from $75,000-$125,000 based on family size. Montanans receiving other forms of housing assistance are not eligible. Total funding available is $50 million. 

Stay Connected Grants ranging from $500-$2,000 per applicant are available to reduce social isolation among Montana’s seniors. Eligible applicants include area agencies on aging, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and tribal elder services. Grant funds can be used to fund technologies and other efforts to encourage physically distant forms of social interaction for elderly Montanans during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Current funding available is $400,000.

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 ·       Federal Grants and Loans – The Small Business Administration (SBA) has resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications from approved lenders on behalf of eligible borrowers UNTIL AUGUST 8. This loan could have the potential to be similar to a grant whereby repayment could be forgiven. Details are available at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program. Contact your local bank to see if they can assist with one of these loans. If any businesses still want to apply, funding currently remains available.

According to a June 15, 2020 press release from the SBA, "To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.... 

·         The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.

·         These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.  The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.  The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

·         To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years.  Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.

 ·         In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000.  The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.  This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan."

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·      Free Webinars and Online Training Opportunities – Free webinars are available on the SBA YouTube page at www.youtube.com/sba, as well as at https://sbdc.mt.gov/classroom where one can find great webinars for disaster planning and dealing with the COVID-19 situation. 

The CSKT Economic Development Office is also providing free online training and hosting online meetings with Tribal business owners. Notices will be sent via e-mail, and posted on the CSKT Workforce Enhancement Facebook page, this CSKT Economics website, and in the Char-Koosta News. Stay tuned for these notices. BE SURE TO E-MAIL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so she can send you an e-mail invitation.

 ·    Other Resources for Businesses and Employees – The Montana Department of Labor is posting frequently asked questions and resources for businesses and employees at its webpage dedicated to providing COVID-19-related information at http://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19.

New information for business owners is sent to the CSKT’s EDO on a regular basis. If a Tribal member owned business is interested in this information, provide an e-mail address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Mrs. Camel will forward this information. She can also be reached at 675-2700, extension 1256.

Businesses may also contact Velda Shelby, the new Economic Development Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., extension 1163; or Dacia Whitworth, the EDO/Vibrant Tribal Economies Assistant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., extension 1091. EDO staff are working remotely, but are checking office messages daily during the work week.

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Tribal economic development focuses on four main areas: 

This website provides resources for job seekers who can use the "Workforce Enhancement" link at the top of this page to make an appointment with our Workforce Enhancement Coordinator. The Coordinator provides assistance with training, resumes, job applications, career blueprints and other resources. $25 stipends are available to tribal members who complete an assessment survey and Career Blueprint.

Links to a list of CSKT job openings and a Workforce Training Directory are located in the upper right column of this page.

Information about CSKT's corporations is available by clicking on the "Tribal Corporations" link at the top of this page.

Small business and entrepreneur support is provided through grants, loans, free training, quarterly networking meetings, and other technical assistance. To review our Business Resource Directory or check our list of Native American owned businesses, click on the links in the upper right column of this page. Additional information is available by clicking on "Small Business-Entrepreneur Support" at the top of this webpage.

Planning and development includes work with other agencies to address economic development and land use issues of mutual concern, as well as planning for development and management of existing and newly acquired Tribal properties. The Hot Springs Wellness Center and culturally-appropriate tourism development are two of CSKT's planning projects.  

The Tribal Economic Development Office (EDO) is charged with planning and implementing some of these resource development projects, with Tribal Council and interdisciplinary staff concurrence, to lead the Tribes toward a self-sufficient economy within the parameters of sound environmental stewardship.  The Annual Work Plan for the EDO includes the following goals:

  1. Facilitate Reporting and Communications between Tribally-Owned Corporations/Enterprises and the Tribal Council/Shareholder 
  2. Complete Due Diligence, as directed, on New Business Proposals Submitted to CSKT by Outside Business Interests
  3. Assist Tribal Member Entrepreneurs and Prospective Entrepreneurs with Access to Capital, Training, and Other Business Development Needs
  4. Support Revenue-Producing Tribal Programs, including Review of Land Acquisition Proposals with Revenue-Producing Potential
  5. Research and Plan for the Best Use of Tribal Assets
  6. Coordinate with Other Governmental Entities Regarding Economic Development, Planning and Workforce Development