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TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN - Is your tribe ready? That is a question that American Indian tribes must answer as part of business development of tribal enterprises, according to Renee Porter, president of Advancia Corporation, based in Oklahoma City, who presented today on Day 2 of the Emerging Tribal Economies seminar.
Renee Porter, president
The Advancia Corporation is owned by the Forest County Potawatomi.
"A master plan is a must!" stated Porter, who discussed federal contracts.
Advancia Corporation does business has several military contracts, including a medical staffing program that supplies medical physicians to the military.
Tribes should not be shy when using the minority business enterprise designation, according to Steven Eckley, special operations director of the Osage, LLC, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
During 2009, 480 of the 500 Fortune Corporations spend $101 billion with minority businesses. During the past five years, sales for minority businesses have grown by 55 percent versus 32.9 for non-minority businesses.
Native 8 (a) Program is a Hands-up Program
According to Porter there are some common characteristics among tribes that have been successful in obtaining federal contracts. They include superb management team, track record running a contractor business, mastery of federal acquisition regulations, government recognized cost accounting system, track record passing government audits, structured business and proposal process and employees with government contracting experience.
Jennine Elias-Alaska Native
Jennine Elias, external affairs coordinator for the Native American Contractors Association, spoke about the attacks lodged against the Native 8(a) program.
"The Native 8 (a) program is a hands-up program, not a handout program," said Elias. "It is important that people know this. The program helps to build capacity. Native 8 (a) assists with business development."
"Don't be afraid to do business off of your tribal trust land," commented James Crawford, vice chairman of the Forest County Potawatomi, during a tribal leader roundtable to conclude the seminar.
The seminar was held at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, which is owned and operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, based in Suttons Bay, Michigan.
The "Emerging Tribal Economies" seminar organized by The Seminar Group and continues on Friday.
posted August 12, 2011 2:10 pm edt
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