'Small Business Assistance Program' aims to help Akwesasne businesses impacted by pandemic
AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Office of Economic Development (OED) is continuing its efforts to help Akwesasne businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
They have launched a new “Small Business Assistance Program” to provide financial and technical assistance to local businesses who have not previously received COVID-19 support grants.“Over the past two years, the Tribe’s Office of Economic Development has been able to help more than 315 local businesses who have been economically impacted by the Pandemic,” shared OED Director James Lazore. He added, “It is our intention that the new Small Business Assistance Program will help identify new and existing businesses who did not receive assistance during the initial two rounds of financial relief.”
To be eligible, local businesses must have been in operation for at least one year as of May 2021, must be in good standing with all tribal ordinances and regulations, majority-owned by an enrolled tribal member, physically located within the southern portion of Akwesasne, and must not have received assistance previously under the Small Business Relief (2020) or the Pandemic Recovery Business Support Program (2021).
Applicants will be required to apply for a DBA (“Doing Business As”) Certificate issued from the Tribe’s Compliance Department, as a requirement for receiving financial support. If an applicant already has its DBA this will be accepted. In addition, applicants must participate in nine (9) modules over an approximate 90-day period. Modules will be comprised of entrepreneurship and business management information, including videos.
Business owners will complete an application with information about their business, provide additional documentation as needed, and complete the first 2 steps of the program. After the first 30 days and completion of the initial modules, they will become eligible for a business support grant to use as reimbursement for costs associated with operating their business. A second business support grant will be distributed at the completion of all modules at the end of the 90-day program.
This program is on a rolling basis and does not have a deadline to apply. The program will operate through the year and into 2023 until all funding is utilized.
Eligible business categories for the Tribe’s Small Business Relief Program include: gas stations and convenience stores; restaurants and bars; artists, craftspeople, and culture-oriented businesses, professional services and related services; retail operations and providers of goods/products; and part-time vendors, caterers, vendors, and entertainment.
Non-profit organizations are not eligible under the Small Business Assistance Program and tribal members who own more than one business may only apply once.
For the link to access an online application for the Small Business Assistance Program, email [email protected] or call 518-358-2835 for assistance or questions.