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SRMT Small Business Relief Program Helps 239 Akwesasne Businesses

Oct 26, 2020

AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Office of Economic Development (OED) announced that 239 Akwesasne businesses have received financial relief through the Tribe’s COVID-19 Small Business Relief Program. The relief funds were made available from the U.S. Treasury Department under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Tribal Chief Eric Thompson expressed appreciation to local businesses for their cooperation in responding to the public health crisis in stating, “When the U.S. Treasury Department issued guidelines for distributing the CARES Act, the Office of Economic Development and other tribal departments began looking for ways to help Akwesasne businesses. I’m pleased with their development of the Small Business Relief Program and the financial support it provided to help reimburse small businesses with the cost of any disruption or closure during the pandemic.”

After the program’s development in June 2020, letters were mailed to all tribally registered businesses in Akwesasne explaining the program and its application process. To be eligible, tribal businesses needed to be in operation for at least a year prior to the pandemic, owned by an enrolled tribal member, and physically located within the southern portion of Akwesasne. The initial callout resulted in 142 eligible applications received by the first deadline of July 24th.

“To ensure that financial relief was provided to as many local businesses as possible, a second callout was conducted that received an additional 97 eligible applications by the deadline of August 31st,” shared Tribal Chief Michael Conners. Chief Conners noted, “Combined with the first callout, a total of 239 Akwesasne businesses were eligible to receive a one-time grant to help them with the pandemic’s financial impact. We’re all in this together and the cooperation of Akwesasne businesses has been an important part of keeping our community safe.”

As of October 9th, the Tribe’s Office of Economic Development reported that more than $1.2 Million from the Small Business Relief Program has been distributed to Akwesasne restaurants, gas and convenience stores, artists and cultural centers, retail and professional services, part-time employers and large enterprises. A complete reporting of the Small Business Relief Fund is available on the Tribal Members Portal for membership to access at

“In return for the small business relief, we ask business owners and other recipients to please complete a Google survey that was emailed to them,” asked Tribal Chief Beverly Cook. Chief Cook added, “Completing the survey will help the Tribe gain more understanding of issues businesses face and the services being requested of the Office of Economic Development.”

Business owners should prioritize the survey and can reach out to the Office of Economic Development directly for assistance with its completion. The OED will be notified of responses as soon as the survey is submitted.

For any questions or more information, please contact OED Director James Lazore or Business Services Specialist Edward Smoke by calling (518) 358-2835.


The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.