Native Americans have the highest poverty rate of any racial group. The Native American Business Incubators Program Act creates a $5 million annual grant program within the Interior Department for tribal businesses, educational institutions, or other organizations.
When I was a young single mom trying to make ends meet, I started and ran a salsa company. That experience could have been so different if there was more access to resources,” Rep. Haaland said in a press release. “This bill will make sure future entrepreneurs in Indian Country can build businesses and break cycles of poverty in our communities.”
The Senate passed it by voice vote on June 27, 2019; the House did the same on September 21, 2020; and President Trump signed it into law on October 20, 2020.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 27, 2019.
Native American Business Incubators Program Act
This bill requires the Department of the Interior to establish a grant program in the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development for establishing and operating business incubators that serve Native American communities. A business incubator is an organization that (1) provides physical workspace and facilities resources to startups and established businesses, and (2) is designed to accelerate the growth and success of businesses through a variety of business support resources and services. Grant applicants may be institutions of higher education, private nonprofits, Native American tribes, or tribal nonprofits.
Interior must facilitate the establishment of relationships between grant recipients and educational institutions serving Native American communities.