Under Secretary Don Cravins from the Minority Business Deveopment Administration and his team visited Heart Berry as part of their tour learning about Native businesses, tribes, and our unique communities.
Showing up spectacular in their DC vibes in downtown Cloquet, Cravins and his team came to learn about some of our victories and struggles as a small Native business. "What struck me about their team was how down to earth they were, he asked some really great questions and I definitely felt heard by them. It is so powerful to see Brown folks in such powerful positions. I am honored they came to see us, feels such a far ways from my kitchen table. We talked about everything from racial profiling to the one path we can walk as Native people towards thriving."
Cravins and their team are visiting North Span following a large grant to provide training, loans, and support for Indigenous entrepeneurs. They spent the afternoon with Fond du Lac Reservation, the catalysts of this amazing project, and a reception after. Representative Liish Kozlowski gushed after the press conference about how great this group is.
When asked "What do Native small businesses need?" Howes, Heart Berry CEO hesitated and responded honestly "Mentorship, Role Models, and Lawyers." Bringing laughter to the room, but there are many situations unique to tribal businesses in regards to taxation and tribal law in addition to rural business issues. "Louie Gong and his work to build Eighth Generation is the one path as a cultural entrepeneurship with the vision I was able to follow. We are so grateful for their role modeling and mentorship."