The Small Business Development Program assists Band members in developing the private sector economy by providing low-interest loans up to $75,000 to businesses that are at least 60 percent owned and operated by Band members located on or near the Reservation. The Program offers both "micro" loans to serve as seed money for business development and "macro" loans for more extensive business start-up or expansion needs. Additionally, it offers assistance with business plan development, marketing, accounting, and management. Since its inception in 1996, the Program has provided loans and training to more than 30 businesses, including construction companies, coffee houses, a septic service, lawn care and snow removal businesses, a karate studio, a horse breeding operation, a hair salon, and an art gallery. Together, the Mille Lacs Corporate Commission and the Small Business Development Program help diversify the tribal economy by providing economic development opportunities that span beyond government jobs and the gaming industry.
"Small Business Development Program". Honoring Nations: 2000 Honoree. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2001. Report.
This Honoring Nations report is featured on the Indigenous Governance Database with the permission of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.