Small Business & Entrepreneurship

The following is a brief summary of the action plans developed:

Create a single source of information for small businesses

  • Home Organization:  Cherokee Chamber of Commerce
  • Goal: Create a single source of relevant information for businesses operating on or interested in coming to the Qualla Boundary.
  • Activities:
    • Partner with advertising firm for review and analysis of proposed content
    • Prepare and issue an RFP to a minimum of three web site development resources
    • Select a firm to develop the web resources
    • Develop hard copy version of online material
    • Develop policy to ensure ongoing, timely maintenance of materials
  • Resources Required:  $50,000 for website development and annual maintenance/upgrade cost of $4000
  • Potential funding sources may include:
    • $25,000 from Preservation Foundation,
    • $20,000 from Tribal Department of Commerce, and
    • $5,000 from Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.
  • Timeline: April, 2015 – August, 2015.


 

Strengthen the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce

  • Home Organizations:  EBCI Commerce Department and Cherokee Chamber of Commerce
  • Goal: strengthen Cherokee Chamber of Commerce financially and operationally
  • Activities: Develop specific set of services that Chamber can provide to businesses and Tribe that fall within purview of EBCI Commerce Department, and can be funded through its budget
  • Resources required:  $80,000 per year to attain financial sustainability
  • Potential funding sources: EBCI Department of Commerce, Cherokee Preservation Foundation
  • Timeline: August, 2014 – August, 2015.


 

Create Economic Development Coalition

  • Home Organizations:  EBCI Commerce Department and Cherokee Chamber of Commerce
  • Goal: Create an economic coalition to support small business attraction, development and growth
  • Activities:
    • Create and implement a coordinated plan to attract businesses to locate in Cherokee and the surrounding three counties
    • Develop a strategy that encourages entrepreneurial efforts to start businesses in targeted fields
    • Coordinate and integrate the efforts of economic development on the Boundary with neighboring interests, including economic development agencies and Chambers in Swain, Jackson and Haywood Counties
  • Resources required:  $10,000
  • Potential funding sources: Cherokee Preservation Foundation, in-kind donations by participating organizations
  • Timeline: Spring, 2015 – August, 2015.


 

Build a More Vibrant Entrepreneurial Culture

  • Home Organization: Sequoyah Fund
  • Goal: Build a more vibrant entrepreneurial culture and environment on the Qualla Boundary that inspires and creates more business ventures.
  • Activities:
    • Establish a baseline description of a desirable/optimal small business environment
    • Complete research necessary to map the small business environment in Cherokee
    • Identify gaps/constraints between Cherokee environment and baseline
    • Prioritize the challenges and attack the problems
  • Resources required:  $30,000
  • Potential funding sources: Cherokee Preservation Foundation, in-kind donations by participating organizations
  • Timeline: Spring, 2015 – December, 2015.


 

Expand Individual Businesses on Boundary through 8(a) and Similar Programs

  • Home Organization:  EBCI Cherokee Enterprise Development and Sequoyah Fund
  • Goal:  Assist enrolled members to expand their business revenues through sales to public sector
  • Activities:
    • Identify opportunities for Federal procurement contracts that may be appropriate for businesses owned by Tribal members
    • Reach out to business owners to make them aware of Federal procurement opportunities.
    • Work with SBA to develop and deliver training programs and resources to support individual entrepreneurs.
    • Organize mentoring and coaching opportunities for Tribal members seeking to expand their own business through 8(a) and other programs
  • Resources required:  staff time
  • Potential funding sources: in-kind donations of staff time
  • Timeline: August 2014 – July 2015


 

Expand Sales of Cherokee Art

  • Home Organization:  Sequoyah Fund
  • Expand sales by Cherokee artists, of both traditional and contemporary art.
  • Activities – three primary strategies:
    1. Create web gallery for online sales
    2. Expand in-person sales off the Boundary by brokering art on behalf of Cherokee artists
    3. Support individual artists to increase sales off-Boundary by providing micro-loans, training, and support for sales booths
  • Resources required:  staff time plus $60,000
  • Potential funding sources: Cherokee Preservation Foundation plus in-kind donations of staff time
  • Timeline: August 2014 – December 2015