Native Communities in the United States face unique economic challenges that affect the availability of capital and credit for individuals and businesses.
A new study, “Access to Capital and Credit in Native Communities”, by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) will identify these challenges, and is part of the long-term goal of the CDFI Fund’s Native Initiatives to overcome barriers to financial services in Native Communities.
“The original 2001 Native American Lending Study laid the foundation for more than a decade of the CDFI Fund’s successful efforts to build and expand CDFIs serving Native Communities,” said CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell. “I am confident that this new study will identify important economic issues within Native Communities that the CDFI Fund will use to focus future efforts and renew our commitment to serving Native Communities.”
The CDFI Fund solicited public comments late last year from Tribal leaders and organizations that work with Native Communities on how the study should be structured. These important comments were incorporated into the CDFI Fund’s approach to the study, which will use a combination of independent research, Tribal consultations, and focus groups to determine the status of credit and capital access in Native Communities. The CDFI Fund has contracted GBS, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sitnasuak Native Corporation, a SBA-certified Alaskan Native 8(a) business, to lead components of the study. GBS has extensive experience with issues that affect Native Communities.
Tribal Consultations and Focus Groups?
The Tribal consultations and focus group sessions will focus on emerging trends, innovative concepts, or promising solutions that could significantly improve capital access and availability and the quality of credit in Native Communities. The first focus group for the study will be held at the Native American Finance Officers Association’s 2013 Fall Finance and Tribal Economies Conference in Seattle, Washington on September 9-10, 2013. Registration information for the focus group can be found on the CDFI Fund’s website. As the details of additional Tribal consultations and focus groups are confirmed, the schedule and registration information will be added to the CDFI Fund’s website at www.cdfifund.gov/nativestudy. For more information about the Native Initiatives, or the CDFI Fund’s other programs, visit www.cdfifund.gov. ?