The Kalispel Tribe of Indians is exploring the possibility of starting its own sewing and clothing company, says the planning director for the tribe.
In March, the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approved a $50,000 grant to the tribe to study the feasibility of starting such a company.
“This is a grant that will be used to do a market analysis to determine the viability of starting such a business,” says Sev Jones, the tribe’s planning director.
“There hasn’t been discussion for that long about this,” Jones says. “But it did arise out of the fact that some tribal members design and make Native American clothing. We want to see if there is an opportunity to share and grow that hobby.”
Jones says the tribe expects to know by the end of this year or the beginning of 2017 whether or not it will pursue the clothing venture.
The study will explore product development, commercial space development and costs, product viability in the market, a marketing plan, and ways to involve other tribes, he says.
Jones says the Kalispel Tribe of Indians employs 2,100 workers in both its governmental operations—running the reservation—and private operations, which include Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights and the Kalispel Golf & Country Club north of Spokane.
The tribe late last year completed the $3 million purchase of the former Spokane Country Club and promptly changed its name.
Separately, the CERB approved a $22,500 grant to the city of Colfax for what’s called the Glenwood Water Line Engineering and Industrial Park Feasibility Study. The feasibility study would develop an engineering assessment for the reconstruction of the water line. Grant money also would be used to examine zoning, environmental restrictions, conduct a cost-benefit analysis, and complete a marketing plan.
The release of funds is contingent upon the applicants completing specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits, CERB says.
“Serving Washington’s rural communities is all about ensuring the health and wellbeing of the people who choose to live, work and raise families there,” says Brian Bonlender, the director of the state’s department of commerce in a written press release announcing the grant award.
CERB says it has committed almost $206 million to local jurisdictions across the state since 1982. That effort, it claims, has led to the creation of more than 34,000 jobs, and private capital expenditures totaling $5.7 billion, or a $27-to-$1 return on its investment.
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