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More than two-thirds of Native-owned businesses have experienced significant revenue loss during the pandemic September 9, 2020 MESA, AZ – The economic impacts of COVID-19 have been particularly harsh on businesses in Indian Country, based on the results of a survey conducted by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (National Center) and the Center for Indian Country Development (CICD) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. More than 400 businesses responded to the survey, completed in mid-July. The survey examined revenue losses, furloughs and layoffs, the types of assistance and credit businesses are receiving, and short and long-term economic confidence. The full results of the survey can be found in a recently published white paper, available here. In addition, representatives from the National Center and CICD will discuss the survey results and their implications in a webinar on Tuesday, September 15 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Click here to register for the webinar. “The pandemic has hit Indian Country and Native-owned businesses particularly hard, but until now we haven’t had a way to quantify the economic impact in our communities,” said Chris James, President and CEO of the National Center. “The results make it clear that many of our businesses are struggling, and do not have confidence that the economy will bounce back quickly. The survey is another indicator that we are not yet out of the woods and Native-owned businesses still need support and assistance to continue to serve their communities and create jobs.” Insights from the survey include:

  • 68% of respondents reported at least a 20% revenue loss; 16% experienced a 100% loss in revenue.

  • 41% of respondents have furloughed or laid off employees as a result of the pandemic.

  • 36% of businesses surveyed applied for a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with 22% (of all survey respondents) receiving a PPP loan.

  • Nearly half (48%) of respondents believe their businesses are more than six months away from returning to normal relative to one year ago, with 27% predicting business will never return to normal.


About the National Center: The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 50 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – The National Center has evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation serving over 500 clients and providing over $4 million in contracts to its clients. The National Center has nine offices throughout the nation with its home office located in Mesa, Arizona. The National Center is actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people – both now…and for generations to come.  Our mailing address is:

953 E. Juanita Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85204