2012 Native American Business Expo focused on personal and small business finance


Virginia Sutter, left, talked with St. Rep. Rita Campbell at the Native American Business Expo Wednesday at Fort Washakie.

The 12th Annual Native American Business Expo at Fort Washakie today was all about financial aspects of personal and business finances.

Several dozen entrepreneurs and business owners attended sessions divided into two tracks, personal finance and small business. Personal finance topics included understanding credit, the importance of personal finance, financial opportunities and employment opportunities. The Small Business track included applied marketing topics, understanding financial statements, cash flow and liquidity and contracting opportunities.

“The interest here seems real high,” said Nancy Clarke, the USDA’s Rural Development office in Casper. Clarke and Ann Stoeger, the Riverton-area director, staffed a booth at the trade show area. “We have 40 plus programs that we can help on, including housing, utilities and community facilities to mention just a few,” she said.

Projects on the Wind River Reservation that USDA has assisted includes the Micro loan program at the Wind River Development Fund, Business training funds for workshops and seminars with business professionals, and such diverse programs as solid waste collection and recycling, the Eastern Shoshone Tribes dialysis center, and equipment needs at Morning Star Manor.

Jim Sutter was interested in learning about natural gas powered vehicles at the Encana exhibit.

On attendee at the event, Jim Sutter of Fort Washakie, is the President of Blue Mountain Lodge, an alcohol and drug treatment program just getting off the ground. Blue Mountain’s offices are in the Frank Wise Business Plaza, a business incubator at the Hines Corner, U.S. Highway 287 and Ethete Road. The Expo is being held at the Plaza. “We’re also working on other health programs. This program today has been excellent.”

Exhibitors at the event included Encana Oil and Gas, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Central Wyoming College, Painted Pony, Inc., the Wind River Visitors Council, local financial institutions and the Small Business Administration.

Zella Guina and Polly Brooks were staffing Zella’s table of hand made beadwork and jewelry, and other artisans were there, showing off their work and hoping for a few sales.

Zella Guina's beaded pendant with the Shoshone Rose emblem was one item on sale at the Native American Business Expo at Fort Washakie.

The one-day event is sponsored by the Wind River Development Fund, Wyoming Housing Network, Tribal Rights Empl0yment Office, Atlantic City Federal Credit Union, Wyoming Workforce Services, Wyoming Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Administration and Wyoming Entrepreneur.











Scott Estep of Lander's Wyoming National Bank presented The Importance of Personal Finance at the Expo.