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Economic Impact Study (EIS)

The Wisconsin Indigenous Economic Development Corporation (WIEDC) is excited to announce a new project to assess and showcase the substantial contributions of non-gaming tribal entities and indigenous small businesses to the State of Wisconsin. This economic impact study will result in a report and database that may be used to foster economic development and policy initiatives to support Wisconsin’s tribal communities.

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Why is this important?

The contributions of Native-owned businesses to the overall economy and to the economy of their own communities may be underestimated outside of the impact of tribal enterprises and gaming.

We know the knowledge, talent, and skills of indigenous populations are broad and deep, and businesses are one way these attributes are expressed in the community. Anecdotally, we also know there are Native-owned enterprises that are not registered with their Tribe or the state, not marketing themselves, not securing financing to grow, and are not receiving technical assistance.

This means they are effectively “below the radar” of statistical reporting and therefore invisible to policymakers. The first step in policymaking is understanding the nature of the situation and its impact, hence this economic impact study.

How can this study benefit our communities?

This data will demonstrate the significant economic contribution of Wisconsin’s Indigenous peoples to the state, highlighting opportunities and encouraging external resources to invest. Additionally, this data will tell the stories of successful indigenous business owners and Tribal enterprises.

As an added benefit, in the course of this project, WIEDC will create a database of non-gaming Tribal enterprises and Indigenous-owned small businesses. Tribes will be able to use this database for their own internal purposes, to target programs and resources for Indigenous-owned businesses, as well as for Tribal external marketing, development, funding, and policy initiatives.

What happens next?

WIEDC has engaged Becker Professional Services (BPS) to undertake this study. The BPS team will be creating and sharing a survey to collect data on the economic impact of Tribal enterprises and Indigenous-owned small businesses. In addition to the survey, which will initially be shared electronically, BPS will be conducting in-person visits at each reservation in the months of April and May. WIEDC and BPS will connect with leaders from each community to schedule this site visit and discuss ideas to engage the community. The final report and database created through this data collection process will be delivered by July 31, 2024.

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How can you help?

WIEDC is engaging strategic partners to ensure as much participation as possible in this study. We are seeking the support of Tribal leadership in spreading the word about this project, encouraging Tribal members to participate, and hosting onsite meetings.

Tribal leaders can further assist by providing WIEDC with directory lists and contact information for non-gaming Tribal enterprises and member-owned small businesses in their community.

Ready To Get Started?

You can preview the Survey questions here to prepare before filling out the survey at the link and button below.

Let us know if you'd like to participate and assist in the gathering of information and contacts for the EIS efforts by following the link to the survey here!

**Everyone who completes the survey will receive one $50 Visa gift card and will be entered to win additional prizes.**