From the Rebuilding Native Nations Course Series: "Small Businesses and the Multiplier Effect"

Native Nations Institute

NNI Executive Director Joan Timeche talks about the positive impact of citizen-owned businesses on reservation economies, not just in terms of economic development but in the overall quality of life for tribal citizens.


Timeche, Joan. "Citizen Entrepreneurship: An Important Economic Development Tool." Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. 2011. Lecture.

"And then it increases what we call reservation multipliers. Economists use the term 'multipliers' to talk about all of the opportunities that are available to keep the one dollar within the community and generating more and more and circulating within the community. We are aware of a number of studies, one of them here in Arizona and, I believe, one of them up in the Plains area that indicated that anywhere, in one case it was 80 cents of one dollar and another study it was 90 cents of every one dollar was going off the reservation within 72 hours of a person earning that dollar. So think about payday on an Indian reservation. On that Friday that they're getting payday people are going to the local store or maybe in the treasurer's office cashing their checks. And then they fill up their vehicles enough that they might be able to get into the next nearest bigger town and they take all of their money to buy their groceries, their goods and services. By keeping the dollar, by having a business on the reservation, one we're hopefully keeping that dollar a little bit longer -- it's turning around in the community perhaps they're not only buying the gasoline but they're buying more essential goods and services within the reservation. There's also the convenience too because then they're not having to then travel perhaps an hour and a half, two hours or more to that nearest town. And you know, time is valuable. You could be using that for other kinds of family time, it could be done, utilized for ceremonies, or whatever the case may be. So you're wanting to just keep everybody on the reservation."