Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF) has launched a state-wide competition and search for three “native business” categories:
• The “eagle” will go to a native business of the year.
• The “bear” award will go to an outstanding advocate of native business, and
• the “salmon” award will recognize a business or organization that has made an effort to patronize native-owned products or services.
“Businesses in Indian Country are growing, and we believe it is time to recognize three very important aspects of the business environment in Indian Country,” said Ted Piccolo, executive director of the NNDF.
Nominations are being accepted now and will stay open until October. Winners will be announced at the first annual Native Business Network gala to be held on Nov. 21 in Airway Heights.
Anyone interested in nominating a person, business, organization or municipality for any of the above mentioned awards are encouraged to contact the Northwest Native Development Fund by email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a nominating form.
In June, the NNDF held the second Native Business Network single-day “lunch and learn” event at Northern Quest Resort with more than 60 participants for the full day event at which NNDF unveiled a new searchable database for businesses certified as Indian-owned.
The NNDF is a certified Native CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) that serves Eastern Washington. The NNDF provides technical assistance to small businesses as well as small business financing.
Piccolo says the NNDF has provided over $600,000 in financing to local native entrepreneurs in just over two years and has saved tribal members over $400,000 through Voluntary Income Tax Assistance sites (VITA).