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Tribe Provides Financial Help to Local Businesses

Aug 25, 2020

AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Office of Economic Development is continuing to reach out and assist Akwesasne businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. With federal funding received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, local business owners are being assisted through the Tribe’s Small Business Relief Program.

“Small businesses are a vital part of the Akwesasne community and we are proud to be able to help them during their time of need,” shared SRMT Economic Development Director James Lazore. Lazore noted, “During the first callout for Small Business Relief applications, which closed July 24th, we have been able to help 158 small businesses offset costs associated with business interruptions due to COVID-19.”

The funds are part of the $8 billion appropriated by the U.S. Congress to assist tribal government in responding to the devastating and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Pandemic. This includes the provision of “grants” to small businesses to “reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.” It is a non-taxable payment and will not be reported under a Form 1099 filing by the Tribe.

A letter has been sent to all tribally registered businesses explaining the program and application process. To be eligible, tribal businesses must have been 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. If the applicant possesses a DBA (“Doing Business As”) Certificate issued from the Tribe’s Compliance Department they should indicate in their application; however, it is not a requirement to receive relief.

Eligible business categories for the Tribe’s Small Business Relief Program include gas stations and convenience stores, restaurants and bars, artists and craftspeople, professional services, retail operations, and part-time vendors.

The Small Business Relief is a one-time payment for tribal business owners to use as reimbursement of costs associated with a business closure or reduction in services. A tribal member who owns more than one business may only apply once for assistance.

A second callout is currently underway, with a deadline of Seskéha/August 31, 2020 for remaining eligible businesses under the jurisdiction of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.

Interested business owners may contact James Lazore or Edward Smoke at (518) 358-2835 to request an online application. The application and supporting documentation must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 31, 2020 to


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