Benefits Provided by Native 8(a)
The Native 8(a) Program is a hand up, not a hand out. This non-appropriated opportunity fulfills the Federal government’s unique obligations to Native Americans by enabling profits to be returned to the Native communities they serve. Economic development is difficult, if not impossible in many Native communities due to the location and the difficulties in building viable businesses on a reservation, rural Alaska Native village, or Hawaiian Homeland. The lack of economic development on reservations has led to an unemployment rate of 49% compared to the national rate of 10%.1 Additionally, according to the U.S. Census, while the U.S. poverty rate was 9.8% in 2007, the Native American poverty rate was more than 2.5 times that at 25.3%.
However, participation in Federal contracting allows Native Enterprises to develop successful businesses within or outside their Native community. While Native enterprises receive less than 0.02% of total U.S. procurement (an approximately $540 billion industry), this small market share creates employment and educational opportunities to Native community members, housing for elders and other Tribal members, preservation of Native culture and language, funding for governmental services such as police officers, court systems, health care facilities, and child welfare programs, job training, and scholarships.
Native 8(a) Contracting Program Supplements Underfunded Federal Programs
Native communities successfully participating in the Native 8(a) program utilize the funds received to supplement underfunded Federal programs. For example, in 2009, Indian Health Services was funded at 52% of the level of need. But Tribes, such as the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe use the profits from their 8(a) enterprise to supplement that program to provide adequate health care for their Tribal members.
The Native 8(a) program provides a real, tangible way for Native enterprises to provide for their communities. As noted above, the unemployment rate among Native Americans is higher than in any community in the United States and more Native Americans live in poverty than any other demographic. Native 8(a)s create jobs, returning profits and benefits to the Native community. Those benefits include:
- Employment opportunities
- Cultural preservation
- Elders assistance
- Health care
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Infrastructure, such as water and sewer
systems, road maintenance and fire prevention
- Tribal court development
- Tribal police
Local Community Benefits
The benefits provided by Native 8(a) enterprises impact more than just their communities. Native 8(a) businesses are located in every state in the United States, several U.S. Territories and foreign countries. The businesses buy goods and services from the local and surrounding communities, which creates additional jobs and growth. Moreover, the employees of the business use their income as consumers in the local economy, which increases the economic ripple effect in the local community.
- NACA Native 8(a) enterprises have employed more than 54,000 Americans nationwide.
- NACA Native 8(a) enterprises provide over $1.9B in payroll.
- Native enterprises generate millions of dollars in economic activity in their surrounding communities with goods and services to support 8(a) businesses.
Below are additional examples of Native 8(a) Benefits:
- ANCSA Regional Economic Report
- Bering Straits Native Corporation, Provides Training to Shareholders, December 13, 2010
- Ho-Chunk Inc, Provides Affordable Housing to Tribal Members
- Native 8(a) Program Brings Hope to Indian and Alaska Native Communities
- Small Business Administration's Trip to the Native Village of Port Lions, June 21, 2011
- Small Business Administration's Trip to the Native Village of Kalskag, October 21, 2009
- View shareholder success stories of Afognak Native Corporation: http://vimeo.com/alutiiqllc/videos/sort:date
Native 8(a) Means Jobs Nationwide
- NACA’s members have operations in all 50 states and collectively employ over 50,000 Americans. Native 8(a) means jobs and putting Americans to work during tough economic times.
- View a map that displays NACA’s members employee and payroll by state.