On September 2, President Biden announced the Mountain | Plains Regional Native CDFI Coalition as one of 21 winners of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, the most impactful regional economic development competition in decades.
Funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Regional Challenge is awarding approximately $45 million in grants to the Mountain | Plains Regional Native CDFI Coalition, led by OFN member Four Bands Community Fund, to grow the Indigenous finance sector and expand economic opportunity in Native American communities in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
With $45 million in funding from EDA, the Coalition — through an alliance of nine Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) — will provide financial investment to Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs that will drive business development and job creation. The creation of a locally led financing infrastructure aims to reverse decades of historical disinvestment and institutionalized inequities for Native communities.
EDA funding will also support a training program, improve data infrastructure, and make other investments that will expand the capacity of the Indigenous financial sector. The Coalition presents a first-of-its kind, cohesive model for Native communities to develop a sustainable private sector while also establishing economic sustainability and resilience.
Read the full press release.