I was very saddened to learn of the passing of Wilma Mankiller, former Chairman of the Cherokee Nation. Although I did not personally know Ms Mankiller, I was very aware of her work. She was a role model for many young Native American Women because of the work she did after founding WEWIN. She also founded a not-for-profit dedicated to the progress of Native communities, which is taking donations in her name.The Cherokee Nation was one of the first tribes to form a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI.) I was privileged to do some consulting work, showing them how to use New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC.) They went on to receive a $60,000,000 NMTC allocation to develop projects to benefit the Cherokee Nation.Another Native leader that has been leading the way in improving economic conditions for Native Americans is Elouise Cobell, of the Blackfeet Nation. She led the way for tribes to sue the federal government for ignoring their fiscal responsibilities regarding individual Indian Trust Accounts. It appears that the government is very close to reaching a settlement in that case.I first met Elouise when I traveled to Browning, MT to provide training on establishing a CDFI for Native artisans on the Blackfeet Reservation. At that time she was Secretary of the Board of a bank in Browning. Elouise leveraged that experience into creating the Native American National Bank, headquartered in Denver, which is now a CDFI.On another note, a little birdie told me that the Incubator Center has applied for certification as a CDFI. Good things may be coming your way, Mesa County!Homework:Rapid City Journalhttp://www.indiancountrytoday.com/home/content/90011057.htmlhttp://www.wewin04.org/Cherokee Nation Businesses.comCDGI fund awardeeshttp://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gnXHnIwaejo2RTMaMLmw0MY1tL2QD9EP8V1G0http://www.cdfifund.gov/speeches/Gambrell-2008-06-NationalBankersAssociation.asp
The February 10th and 11th edition of the Grand Junction Free Press published an editorial by Kelly Sloan titled, “Democrats’ plan will not create jobs.” Mr. Sloan should do some homework before he trots out the same old talking points that have been used to promote boom and bust cycles for at least the past 30 years in Happy Valley.There is a way for government support to help create jobs. First let’s look at some facts:· The majority of new jobs in the nation are created by small businesses, not large oil and gas companies.· Commercial banks (and yes, Norm Franke, I do know the difference between investment banks and commercial banks) are predisposed toward lending to large and mid-market companies, not the small businesses and entrepreneurs that are our neighbors. Why? Start-up companies and small businesses have a high rate of failure. So, even though they are creating the jobs we need, they have trouble finding financing. · One government program that helps existing small businesses get financing to buy equipment and/or expand into new office space is the Small Business Administration (SBA), a federal government program that guarantees loans made by commercial banks to small businesses that carry more perceived risk than the commercial bank is willing to take without some form of credit enhancement. Start-ups generally need not apply, because the banks require at least three-years of profitability, or positive financial trends.· Another government program that supports small business and housing programs that carry slightly more risk than SBA guaranteed loans is the CDFI fund (Certified Development Financial Institution) in the Treasury Department. The CDFI fund also manages New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), a program about which I happen to be a nationally recognized expert. NMTC’s give tax credits to Certified Development Entities (CDEs) who then sell the tax credits to businesses who want to shelter income from the IRS (oil and gas companies?)CDEs use the money they get from selling NMTCs to finance small businesses and entrepreneurs, who create jobs, but otherwise could not find financing.Currently there are no Certified Development Entities (CDEs) in western Colorado. Without a local CDE, local small businesses and entrepreneurs are being shut out of the programs that are designed to help them. There are two organizations that are eligible to become CDEs in House District 54: the Incubator Center and the Revolving Loan Fund REGION 10. There is a state chartered entity that is a CDE, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA.) There is a SBA lender working state wide that has access to NMTC for Colorado: Colorado Lending Source.Now, do some homework. These programs would all bring your federal tax dollars home to help your neighbors expand or create small businesses, resulting in sustainable jobs for other neighbors. Neighbors helping neighbors: It is the Western way of life.Homework:http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/snloansurvey/201002/ ß Federal Reserve Bank survey of bank lenders.http://www.cdfifund.gov/news_events/CDFI-2010-06-Presidents-2011-Budget-Requests-250Million.aspß Obama’s budget includes $250 million for CDFIs.http://www.cdfifund.gov/news_events/CDFI-2010-08-Statements-CDFIFund-Director-Gambrell-and-AdvisoryBoard-Chair-Bynum.aspß CDFI announcement of TARP funds availability to fund small businesses.http://www.cdfifund.gov/docs/2010/cdfi/Obama-Administration-Announces-Enhancements-Tarp-Initiative-for-Community-Dev-Fin-Inst.pdf ß CDFI eligibility and program requirements.http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251604645421&ssbinary=trueß Overview of Colorado’s budget woeshttp://www.chfainfo.com/news/Update%20on%20CHFA%20and%20Market.icm ß CHFA accesses housing funds.http://www.rwbpress.com/2010/02/15/sba-loans%E2%80%94are-small-business-loans-the-key-to-reversing-unemployment-creating-jobs/ß article about how Small Business Administration loans help businesses create jobs.http://www.coloradolendingsource.org/ß SBA lender using NMTC to fund small business loans.http://www.cdfifund.gov/what_we_do/programs_id.asp?programID=5ß All about NMTC.