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S. 294 (116th): Native American Business Incubators Program Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 21, 2020.

Native American Business Incubators Program Act

This bill establishes a grant program to provide business incubation and other business services to Native American entrepreneurs and businesses.

(Sec. 4) Specifically, the 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 start-ups 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 issue a grant for a three-year term and may renew a grant for up to three more years.

Grant recipients must generally provide a nonfederal contribution of at least 25% of the annual grant disbursement each year; however, Interior may waive this requirement under certain circumstances. Further, grant recipients must provide a nonfederal contribution of at least 33% of a grant renewal. (Sec. 6) Interior must facilitate the establishment of relationships between grant recipients and educational institutions serving Native American communities.

(Sec. 7) Additionally, Interior must coordinate with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Treasury, and the Small Business Administration to ensure that grant recipients have the information and materials needed to provide Native American businesses and entrepreneurs with assistance in applying for federal business and entrepreneurial development programs.