WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians $3,161,976 for constructing the Adaawe Wigamig Business Incubation Center to promote innovation and strengthen employment opportunities throughout the region.
"Now more than ever, communities across our state need support for small businesses, entrepreneurship, and economic development," Klobuchar said. "Native communities have been disproportionately impacted by the economic and public health crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This investment to the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians will help create jobs and economic opportunity to get through this unprecedented crisis."
"I believe in building a diverse economy-one that works for everyone-so businesses can grow, and workers get better jobs with better pay," Smith said. "The Adaawe Wigamig Business Incubation Center will help Tribal entrepreneurs grow their innovative businesses. Let's keep working to create opportunity for all."
The project will renovate existing office space by installing a new roof, mechanical ventilation, new finishes and fixtures, a parking lot, and street lights to establish an art makerspace and space for small business ventures, training, and multi-purpose gatherings.
From an earlier report on https://www.redlakenationnews.com/story/2020/09/25/news/open-house-celebration-held-for-new-adaawe-wigamig-business-center-p2/92551.html
September 23, 2020 - Today the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake, Minnesota, was awarded a $3 million grant to construct the Tribe's Adaawe-Wigamig Business Center.
The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $214,789 in local funds and is expected to create 217 jobs, retain 87 jobs, and generate $7.2 million in private investment.
Taken from the Red Lake Tribal Council Facebook page: Sharon James, Director, 4-Directions Development stated 4-Directions Development was one of the key institutions in putting this proposal together, but wanted to introduce the others that helped make it happen as well.
"We had a team put together to be more successful with this past attempt. The EDA application is a "Bear" to work with, but we made it through, and I am happy to say that we were success this time.
"First off is our Grant writer, Kim Nagle, with Upgrow Business International; HRDC, Tim Flathers, not able to join us today, but he helped us with the Reginal Development CEDS piece; Tim Meyers, Meyers Group, he helped us with all the reporting needed in the application; the Tribal Accounting Department was key in putting together all the financial data that was required, so we appreciate their assistance as well; and last but not least, Kade Ferris from the Red Lake Engineering Department, he helped us put together the Environmental Impact study as another major part of the application.
"This project, like the Chairman and Treasurer were saying, is going to be a major impact for the community. We have been working on this for years, ever since Red Lake did their CEDS analysis back in 2012; focusing on entrepreneur development. We have worked with a lot of entrepreneurs, and they were always concerned about space, where am I going to put my business? This is really going to help in that aspect. We are growing out of space already; we are almost to full capacity now. We will soon be looking for more space to develop in the future.
"Thank you for offering this funding to us, the Red Lake Nation, and thank you for joining us."
An Open House celebration was also held from 10 AM - 2 PM, that included speakers and a meal.