On November 9 during the annual OFN Conference, the 2020 Native CDFI Awards honored two Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs)—Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) in Alaska and Black Hills Community Loan Fund (BHCLF) in South Dakota—for their unique approaches to helping Native-owned small businesses and local community members survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are just a few examples of their impact:
Michael and Charlotte, Homeowners, Anchorage, Alaska
Michael and Charlotte Mulcahy utilized CILC’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program, combined with the Native American Homeownership Initiative (NAHI) program for down payment assistance and a HUD184 mortgage to open the door to their dream of homeownership. These programs not only provide capital, they set clients up for successful homeownership with budgeting tools and homeownership education classes.
Darla Takes The Knife, Rapid City, South Dakota
Darla Takes The Knife (Cheyenne River Lakota) is a skilled seamstress and worked as a tailor for several local military bases. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she pivoted her cut and sew shop to meet the needs of personal protection equipment (PPE) and began taking orders for masks. The demand was so great that she sews full-time to fulfill her ever-growing contracts.
Devyn Valandra, Youth Entrepreneur, Rapid City, South Dakota
Devyn Valandra (Oglala Lakota) was a high school senior in Rapid City when he developed a coffee product infused with sage. He worked closely with BHCLF to create his business plan, build relationships with potential clients, develop a marketing plan, and ultimately become an entrepreneur.
Monique and Delaney, Homeowners, Rapid City, South Dakota
Monique and Delaney were the recipients of BHCLF’s first down payment loan. Members of the Yankton Sioux and Oglala Sioux Tribe who work and reside in Rapid City, they purchased their new four-bedroom home in 2019.
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