PUBLISHED: 4:04 PM on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Rural Business Enterprise grant secured to put small business development center in Angoon
The Business and Economic Development Department of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council), in partnership with Kootznoowoo, Inc., Angoon Tribal Council and the Angoon City Council, has successfully secured a Rural Business Enterprise grant with USDA Rural Development to establish a Small Business Development Center in Angoon in 2007 - 2008.

The newly funded project will provide technical assistance and e-commerce education to local entrepreneurs.

It will furnish one-on-one individual counseling to small businesses and potential business owners in areas such as pre-business planning, developing business plans, and credit practices among others.

The project will also create a computer classroom with high-speed internet connection and distance-learning capability. The computer classroom and distance learning component will be used for small business training, technical assistance, one-on-one counseling, and professional education.

There is a possibility for a partnership with the Vocational Training & Resource Center in Juneau, which is a Central Council subsidiary, to broadcast some of its classes to Angoon.

Additionally, local residents will be able to use the classroom to sell their arts and services online; non-profit and community organizations from Juneau will be able to broadcast webinars and other events to Angoon with a click of a button.

The Small Business Development Technician position that the project will create in Angoon, and the e-commerce and distance learning center will be supported by the grant, and by the Central Council, Angoon City Council, Kootznoowoo, Inc., and the Angoon Tribal Council.

An outcome-oriented performance metrics will be adopted for this project. During the first 12-month period, the Center will achieve the following results:

• Deliver 175 hours of face-to-face counseling.

• Help clients obtain $500,000 or more of capital support (SBA loans, traditional bank loans, credit enhanced loans, etc.)

• Host 10 workshops on small business-related and e-commerce-related topics and conduct at least 5 distance learning events.

• Make the distance learning capability accessible to non-profits, tribal entities, and other business and economic development organizations to conduct educational events in the community.

• Make the computer classroom available to local residents to market and sell their products and services online, for a reasonable fee.

The Small Business Development Center in Angoon is but the first step in the Central Council's plan to support business development in the region. If the project is successful, Central Council's Business and Economic Development Department will continue working with interested Tribal Governments and other local organizations to roll out a network of such Centers in other tribal communities.

The project will result in development of small and emerging private business enterprise in our region.

It will give people skills and access to resources that are necessary to take advantage of existing opportunities for small business development.

If you would like to support this project financially or otherwise, please call Business & Economic Development Department manager Andrei Chakine at (907) 463-7121 or email him at