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The deadline to apply for the Blackfeet Tribe Emergency Small Business Assistance COVID-19 Relief Program is rapidly approaching with 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, marking the last chance for Tribal members who own businesses to apply.

According to program director Ty Show, applications are available via paper copy from the Blackfeet Tribe or online at https://blackfeettribe.submittable.com/submit/179160/blackfeet-tribe-emergency-small-business-assistance-covid-19-relief-program?fbclid=IwAR0F6reRIEvdcIRtyemtFRsOMs89vNIuUCUO6-f8tCPQPECjTAf_IDXYnUU.

“The application is very straightforward,” Show said. “The documentation part to prove loss or cost to the business from the COVID-19 shutdown can be revenue based, like revenues from 2019 compared to 2020, but that doesn’t show expenses.” If a business was shut down, revenues might go away, but expenses might also be reduced when no business can be conducted.

“The committee wants the applicant to show how the business was impacted with receipts and compared revenues,” Show said. “If their profit was negative, we can help them.”

Show explained the Tribe’s requirements are strict enough to satisfy their federal sources while being broad enough to account for the unique conditions under which Tribal businesses operate. Some, he said, operate on Trust land and are free from state and county taxes while others are like the “Burrito Lady” whose operations are informal and tiny. “We wanted it to be broad enough to review each application…we wanted to include them,” he said.

At present the program has received 65 applications, and while no relief funds have yet been awarded, that situation will shortly change. “The committee is reviewing them now,” Show said. “There are four members on the committee. They all meet on Zoom to discuss the applications, and each one gives them a score based on the documentation.”

Show said any applications received by 5 p.m. today, Wednesday, Dec. 9, will receive the committee’s recommendations which will the be sent to the Tribal Council for their approval. That bunch of checks will go out on Thursday, Dec. 10. Any other applications received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, will go to the Tribal Council for approval and be mailed out next week.

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