COULEE DAM – The Northwest Native Development Fund has received a federal award of more than $1 million to expand services and increase the volume of its small-business lending program.

Fund officials said they plan to use the $1,083,300 award to grow the program’s lending capital fund and increase the current portfolio to $8 million by 2022.

“We are happy, humbled and excited that the (Community Development Financial Institutions Fund) saw fit to invest in our little company,” said Ted Piccolo, native fund executive director. “We have already provided over $8 million total … in small business financing and this award will help us leverage to larger financing dollars in order to fuel small businesses in eastern Washington.”

The fund also provides credit builder loans for people who are struggling to increase their credit scores while avoiding predatory lending operations. Other offerings include free family budgeting workshops, small business marketing workshops and a business planning course.

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