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Despite the ongoing pandemic, July was a busy month for the National Center. Over the last several weeks we’ve hosted virtual NEIs in Connecticut, Chicago, Anchorage and Phoenix and broadcast these small, socially distant gatherings for free to everyone interested. These virtual NEIs have focused on how businesses can respond to and weather the storms created by COVID-19. The archived webcast of these NEIs are available on our website at www.ncaied.org

We have also completed and launched a fact sheet for tribes and tribal entities to use when purchasing critical personal protective equipment (PPE). We know how difficult it can be to enter these uncharted waters, where there are many unscrupulous vendors that care less about health and more about making a quick dollar. That’s why we developed a guide to help you understand the basics, and give you access to a list of approved and vetted PPE vendors. Please visit www.ncaiedppeguide.org to learn more and download this critical information.

In other news, we have once again partnered with our friends at UNITY to announce winners of the latest business plan competition for youth – the youth who will be our future entrepreneurs and tribal leaders. You can check out the winners on UNITY’s YouTube page. We look forward to seeing how they put these plans into action in the coming years.

Our youth have big shoes to fill. We spotlighted some of the fantastic Native-owned businesses that are doing great work to respond to the pandemic, from Tocabe Restaurant in Denver to Nations Gas Technologies in Northern New Mexico. These companies were leaders before the pandemic, and have shown their commitment to our community during it.

Throughout these challenging times, I am grateful for your support. It’s a good reminder of the importance of the work that we do to support Native-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you soon – if not in person, perhaps on a Zoom call or webinar!


Chris James
President and CEO