Local Tribal Businesses Receive Native American VAF Awards


NAVAF winners Melissa Blueflower-Sanchez and Robert Sanchez from R & M Construction in front of the Los Alamos Teen Center their company recently helped remodel.

Local Tribal Businesses Receive Native American VAF Awards

Staff Report

Four Native American-owned and operated businesses have received more than $53,000 in grants through the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund (NAVAF), which is funded by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, and managed by the Regional Development Corporation in Española. The grants are designed to help the recipients create jobs, increase their revenue base and help diversify the regional economy.

The grant recipients are:

  • Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, Inc. (to market an arts & crafts fair)
  • High Water Mark, LLC, Cochiti Pueblo (to purchase computer software)
  • Poeh Cultural Center and Museum, Pueblo of Pojoaque (to support tourism development)
  • R & M Construction, Santa Clara Pueblo (to purchase office equipment and estimating software)

To date, $264,000 have been invested in northern New Mexico through the NAVAF. Additionally, over a two-year period, 22 jobs were created or retained by Native-owned companies and $692,500 in new revenue were generated.

“These investments create jobs for pueblo-owned businesses and help strengthen the area’s economy.” said the Laboratory’s Community Programs Office Director Kathy Keith. 

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a NAVAF award, companies

  • must demonstrate that they are a Native American-owned business in which a tribe or tribal member has at least a 51-percent stake in the enterprise
  • must be a tribal business or corporation from the pueblos of Cochiti, Jemez, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Taos, or Tesuque
  • must be located in Mora, Los Alamos, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, San Miguel or Taos County

Entities that have been awarded in the past are eligible to apply again as long as the proposal is for a new line of business or initiative.