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The National Center Welcomes New Native American Economic Development Legislation
Bill from Sens. Hickenlooper and Lummis formally authorizes Office of Native American Affairs at U.S. Small Business Administration

May 24, 2021

Mesa, AZ — The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) welcomes the introduction of the bipartisan bill by Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to authorize the Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) within the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). S.1735, titled the ONAA Enhancement Act of 2021, is cosponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and James Inhofe (R-OK). The bill formally authorizes the ONAA at SBA, doubles its funding, and expands its capacity to support and promote Native American entrepreneurs and businesses. The ONAA would be directed by an Associate Administrator tasked with implementation of policies and programs to meet the business and entrepreneurial development needs of Indian Tribes, Alaska Native corporations, Native Hawaiian Organizations, the enterprises of these entities, and American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian individuals who own businesses or are entrepreneurs. You can read Senator John Hickenlooper’s official press release on the legislation here.

“The National Center thanks Senators Hickenlooper and Lummis for their tireless work on the Office of Native American Affairs Enhancement Act of 2021,” said National Center President and CEO Chris James. “I urge the Senate to act promptly to approve this important legislation and help unleash the entrepreneurial power of Indian Country. Investing in tribal governments and Native American businesses and entrepreneurs helps to grow Indian Country’s economy and the broader American economy.”

The National Center recently drafted a letter to Sens. Hickenlooper and Lummis thanking them for their work to introduce the legislation.