Funding/Grant Resources

This section is continuously updated with grants and funding resources that become available. Financial support is just a click away. If you need technical assistance when applying, please click on request assistance to be directly connected to someone on our team.

Business Impact NW

Business Impact Northwest offers loans to small business owners, especially women, veterans, BIPOC, immigrants, LGBTQ+ and disabled entrepreneurs. These loans range from $5,000 to $350,000. Funding can be used for equipment, inventory, working capital, commercial real estate, furniture and fixtures, debt restructuring, contract mobilization, and contractor receivables. 

Farm Loans Program (Farm Service Agency)

The Farm Service Agency offers loans to help farmers and ranchers get the financing they need to start, expand or maintain a family farm. The kinds of loans they offer include ones for beginners and Native Americans, as well as operating loans, ownership loans, emergency farm loans, and others. 

Food Business Resource Center (FBRC)

FBRC is a one-stop shop for Washington State food entrepreneurs. Access skills, resources, networks, and marketplace opportunities to start, run and grow your successful food-related business. It is a program of Business Impact NW that specializes in connecting all business owners with opportunities and answers. It offers trainings, one-on-one coaching, referrals to resource partners, and networking events in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska.

Mercy Corps Northwest

Mercy Corps Northwest offers loans ranging from $500 to $20,000 to businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color, women, gender non-conforming individuals, and undocumented entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Their program works with both startups and existing businesses to serve the needs of business owners at different points in their journey. They work with people who are experiencing less than perfect credit, unable to qualify for loans at other institutions, and who are new to the lending process. They also offer grants. 

New Roots Fund

New Roots Fund offers loans to businesses in King County. These loans range from $500 to $25,000 depending on what you’re looking for. While their focus has been on the refugee and immigrant population in King County, they are able to serve any qualified individual.

Resources for Native American Women Business Owners

Becoming Self Made has compiled a list of funding, training and networking resources for Native American women business owners. This list is meant to help business owners search for funding resources, training programs for aspiring and current entrepreneurs, and opportunities to network and pool resources. 

Restart Academy

Restart Academy was created by the Washington State Dept. of Commerce to rebuild communities through a vibrant, growing community of entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. Each course will take you through a specific topic, from how to make a fresh start and building stakeholder trust to developing a successful exit strategy down the road for you and your business. Courses include an online workbook, assignments and additional links and resources. The courses are FREE and you can do them at your own pace. 

Rural Community Development Resources (RCDR)

Assisting low-income entrepreneurs, this organization offers business services, access to financing, and financing opportunities to its clients. This organization serves those within Yakima, Benton, Grant, Adams, Franklin, Walla Walla, Chelan, Okanogan and Kittitas counties.

Small Business Innovation Fund

The Washington State Department of Commerce is accepting applicants for the Small Business Innovation Fund, which aims to spur small business recovery, startup, and growth. This funding focuses on initiatives that serve BIPOC entrepreneurs, women-owned small businesses, and small businesses located in underserved, low-income, and rural areas. Applicants are asked to reply by Sept. 2, 2022.

SNAP Financial Access

SNAP Financial Access offers small business loans ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 to small businesses in Spokane County. Their loans can be used for startup costs, existing business purchases, real estate, equipment purchases, working capital, debt restructure, and more. They help fund women, veterans, communities of color, immigrants, LGBT, disabled, and other traditionally under-banked entrepreneurs. 

Ventures

Ventures is a Seattle-based nonprofit that offers loans and micro-financing to empower small business growth. They make capital available to small business owners who may not qualify for traditional financing. Ventures’ loan programs combine capital products with business coaching to support the long-term success of our loan recipients. They have three types of loans you can apply for: Peer, Business Builder, and Credit Building loans. They focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income. 

Washington State County Business Resources

Part of StartUp Washington, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies, foundations, and business organizations are offering small businesses additional funding opportunities in addition to state funding, and this provides a list of resources that are available in each county of the state.

Building Communities Fund

Building Communities Funds (BCF) grant is intended for non-profit, community-based organizations to cover the costs to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate nonresidential community and social service centers. This grant is funded through state-bonds and the awardees will be chosen through a competitive grant process application. Applications are accepted until Aug. 5, 2022

Seattle Good Business Network

Do you have a business in Seattle and looking for ways to make it more environmentally sustainable? Seattle Good Business Network can help you find free tools, technical assistance and resources through partnerships and programs. It has been awarded a Seattle Public Utilities’ Waste-Free Matching Communities Grant to offer free resources.  The organization has other programs as well that can help you with your business needs.

The Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF)

The NNDF assists Native Americans with development of personal assets through financial and entrepreneurial education, and providing access to multiple different types of loan opportunities for the economic development of Indian Country.

The Seattle Public Library – Business Calendar

We offer dozens of free virtual classes, workshops and events every year for people who want to launch or grow a business. Improve your business skills, learn how to use free Library resources, and connect with local organizations that support businesses of every size.

Income Tax Guide for Native American Individuals and Sole Proprietors

Federally recognized Indian tribal governments aren’t subject to federal income tax but they must pay employment tax on wages paid to employees. Members of a federally recognized Indian tribe are subject to federal income and employment tax and the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), like other United States citizens.

How to Start a Small Business

Do you have several entrepreneurs that would like to start up their business in the next months? Consider using the Small Business Guide when walking entrepreneurs through the steps of starting their business. This in depth guide has various resources and is available in multiple languages.

Strengthening Financial Avenues in Native American Communities

Historically, Native communities defined currencies by their food, relationships, nature and tools to sustain a living. Over time, Native and Indigenous populations gave way to the use of paper money. These new social standards pushed them to adopt different ways to sustain their living, often, outside their reservations and communities, which may be critical in building wealth.

Reopening Resources for WA Small Businesses

RESTART Partners’ Resources page puts a wealth of small business COVID-19 information at your fingertips.

SmartWA Business Decision Support Tool

The Washington State Department of Commerce has launched a new SmartWA business decision support system and COVID-19 dashboard to help small business owners identify the safety protocols most likely to be important to customers.

StartUp Washington Resources

StartUp Washington Resources page has some great links to resources that can help your business grow and thrive.

Small Business Flex Fund

The Small Business Flex Fund is a simple, low-interest & flexible loan for Washington’s smallest businesses and non-profits. It was created to meet the unique challenges of small businesses and non-profits when trying to get access to funding to sustain or grow. The Fund has an easy application process, low interest rates, longer payback timelines, lenders inclined to approve, and experts dedicated to your business success. Please reach out to us here at Sister Sky to help you determine your eligibility and assist you with the application process.

Craft3: Loans in Indian Country

Craft3 offers a loan program specifically built to understand the culture, traditions and sovereignty of Indian country.

Sister Sky, Inc.

Sister Sky Inc. is a SBA-certified 8(a), Native American, economically disadvantaged woman-owned small business (EDWOSB) dedicated to delivering empowerment and enrichment services to Native American and disadvantaged communities through culturally-conscious training, technical assistance, event management and communications.

County Business Resources

Each county has its own assistance programs available, including small business grants.

Washington State’s Economic Partners

The Department of Commerce and your county’s Associate Development Organizations work closely together to promote Washington State in growing the economy and building communities statewide. Sister Sky Inc., through the Native Business Center, has been contracted by the Department of Commerce to reach Washington State Native-owned businesses.

Camp Crier

In many Native American traditions, those who reported news were called Camp Criers. Camp Criers would walk, run or ride from person to person or home to home until everyone was informed.

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Native Americans across Midwest embrace traditional foods rejected by centuries of colonization

“Native American tribes and communities are creating formal programs that focus on their traditional foods to not only combat systemic food insecurity, but also connect people to their culture” In late July in Kansas City on a foraging trip Jojo Blackwood made a discovery of a rare mushroom that changed the way she views her […]

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U.S. Senate Announces Creation of Community Development Finance Caucus

On Monday, August 1, Native CDFI Network News reported U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) announced the creation of the Senate Community Development Finance Caucus (CDFC), a bipartisan caucus dedicated to supporting the missions of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) to scale their activities and fuel more […]

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Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online

Learn how to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online

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Working Washington Grants: Round 5 webinars happening in August

Throughout the month of August there will be several webinars focusing on Working Washington Grants: Round 5. These webinars are meant to help small business and non-profit owners better understand the program and what they need for their applications should they be eligible for it. Here are the webinars you can attend: OneEastside webinar walk […]

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Native Business Center Launches Washington State Business Directory

SPOKANE, Wash. — On Thursday, June 30, Native Business Center, which is powered by Sister Sky Inc., officially launched the Washington State Native Business Directory to support and bring awareness to small businesses owned by Native Americans in Washington State. This project was funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce. The directory is an […]

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Tribal elders recall painful boarding school memories

We want to take a moment to pause here and let you know this post will be about the hardships Native peoples have faced in the boarding schools. If this type of information and news is upsetting to you, we encourage you to click out now and come back when you are ready. This story […]

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IOC Restores Olympic Gold Medals Solely to Jim Thorpe

On Friday, Native News Online reported that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will display legendary athlete Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox, Potawatomi) as the sole gold medalist in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. This announcement comes 110 years to the day when Thorpe was awarded two Olympic gold medals by […]

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New round of funding allocated to Working Washington Grants for small businesses

For small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington State Legislature has allocated $70 million for the next round of Working Washington Grants: Round 5. In this round of Working Washington grants, available funds are set aside for specific targeted groups or sectors: 60% is identified for the arts, heritage, and science sectors, including […]

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Native American News Roundup, July 3-9, 2022

For the week of July 3rd to the 9th of 2022 there were a few exciting developments in Indian Country. The first was about Cherokee Nation citizen Dwight Birdwall, 74, who was awarded the highest military honor by President Joe Biden. Birdwall’s heroism in the January 1968 series of shock and awe attacks by North […]

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President Biden Nominates Patrice Kunesh for Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans

Last month, Native News Online reported that President Joe Biden announced 13 new intended nominations for his administration, including Patrice Kunesh for Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), a program office within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Kunesh, a Standing Rock Lakota descendant, is an attorney and policy advocate […]

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University of Alaska Southeast to Offer Free Alaska Native Language Courses

Last month, Native News Online reported that University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) will offer students free non-credit classes in Alaska Native languages this fall. “The University of Alaska Southeast is committed to recognizing and acknowledging historical wrongs endured by Alaska Native Communities,” Carin Silkaitis, Dean of UAS’s School of Arts and Sciences, said in a […]

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Supreme Court rules Oklahoma State has concurrent jurisdiction in Indian Territory

On Wednesday, Native News Online reported that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Oklahoma has jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian Country. It is the first time in U.S. history that a state has concurrent jurisdiction with the federal government. In Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, the state asked the Supreme […]

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Chief Lynn Malerba is the first Native person to be selected as Treasurer of the United States

Chief Lynn Malerba, Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts), from the Mohegan Tribe has been confirmed as the first Indigenous person to be appointed as the next U.S. Treasurer. Malerba was quoted in an article by Indian Country Today saying: “I am honored and humbled by Secretary (Janet) Yellen and the Biden Administration’s commitment to ensuring that […]

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Native CDFI convenes Wabanaki Nations behind ‘transformative’ economic development consortium

In a recent article from Tribal Business News, Four Directions Development Corporation is leading a new effort that aims to facilitate collaboration among the Wabanaki Nations in Maine “to better engage their collective economic engine.” Even though the Passamaquody, Prenobscot, Maliseet and Mi’kmaq tribes have worked together before regarding sovereignty and water protection, a holistic […]

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BIGGEST Legal Mistakes Business Owners Make

When starting or running a business, there are a bunch of hoops to jump through and things to keep track of throughout the process. That is why you want to make sure you’re not making any legal mistakes while getting your business set up. To check if you’re doing everything right, here are some of […]

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T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders program still accepting applicants for Spokane location!

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level? Well, there is still time to apply for T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined if you want to help your company grow. T.H.R.I.V.E. (Train. Hope. Rise. Innovate. Venture. Elevate) is a free six-month intensive training program for small business entrepreneurs […]

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State Launches Small Business Flex Fund on June 30th

We are proud to be the technical assistance provider to the American Indian and Alaska Native communities for this new fund launched by Washington State Department of Commerce! The Small Business Flex Fund is a simple, low-interest & flexible loan for Washington’s smallest businesses and non-profits. It was created to meet the unique challenges of […]

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Start Up Stories : Monica Simeon—Sister Sky

Our co-founder Monica Simeon was featured in Spokane Talks “Start Up Stories.” In this show, they discuss Sister Sky Inc.’s startup story, as well as explore early transitions in business startup, managing early growth, and using trade shows to advantage.

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State to launch new round of Working Washington small business grants on March 29

Newest grant round focuses on brick-and-mortar businesses most directly impacted by COVID-19 public health measures The Washington State Department of Commerce opened applications for Working Washington Grants: Round 4 on March 29. Business owners can find information about the program and a link to the application portal at commercegrants.com. This is the fourth round of the […]

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FIVE Helpful Tips when applying to Round 3 of the Working Washington Small Business grant!

The application for the new round of Working Washington business grants is now open. Businesses can apply for up to $20,000 to offset costs or expenses due to COVID-19. The grants are targeted primarily for small businesses with $5 million or less in annual revenue that have had to close or significantly curtail operations as […]

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Sister Sky Inc. Provides Suicide Prevention Training for Indian Health Service

Native American-owned Small Business Chosen to Provide Culturally Customized Suicide Prevention Training for 17,000 IHS Employees Spokane, WA: Suicide is an urgent public health concern across the United States, but its severity for American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and for AI/AN young people, is unimaginably devastating. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death […]

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Washington State Department Launches Grant for Disadvantages Community Business Owners

Funding and Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic SPOKANE, WA. (October 6, 2020) – Washington State’s Department of Commerce announced the launch of the Small Business Resiliency grant program! $5 million in grants will be awarded to small business owners in disadvantaged communities across Washington State. Sister Sky Inc. is the preferred contractor […]

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Northwest Native Development Fund Receives $1,083,300 Award From U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund

Native Business Center congratulates the Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF). This is exciting news for Indian Country!  Good job NNDF! September 25, 2020 Coulee Dam Washington – The Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF) learned yesterday that they will become the recipient of a $1,083,300 award for the expansion of services and to increase the volume of […]

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State Seeks to Address Economic Inequality by Increasing Culturally and Linguistically Relevant Help for Small Businesses Owners

Commerce partners with 20 community-based organizations statewide to provide technical assistance and other resources to underserved small businesses affected by COVID-19 September 24, 2020 OLYMPIA, WA –Small business owners now have more places to seek culturally and linguistically relevant help for dealing with COVID-19, thanks to expansion of the Small Business Resiliency Assistance program announced today by […]

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Passage of Native American Business Incubators Act is an Important Step for Native Entrepreneurship

This is what Indian Country has been waiting for! Native Business Center is very ecstatic for this news we received, stay tuned for updates! Bill now headed to President’s desk for signature into law  September 23, 2020 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) cheered House passage of S. 294, the ‘Native […]

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Washington State Small Business Grant Program

Funding and Resources for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID Pandemic SPOKANE, WA. (September 11th, 2020) – The Washington State Department of Commerce has launched a second round of available funds in your county for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 through the Working Washington Small Business emergency grant program. Sister Sky Inc. has been contracted by […]

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