The American Indian Chamber of Commerce (AICCW) exists to promote economic development in Wisconsin Indian Country through directed service delivery to American Indian entrepreneurs.
Since our inception in 1991, we have remained committed to providing statewide advocacy, networking, one-to-one business management counseling and access to financial products and services to Wisconsin-based American Indian business people.
Now celebrating over 20 Years, we’re very proud of the accomplishments we’ve made including:
Created the FACC as a separate Revolving Loan Fund organization in 2002.
Created AICTA, an association formed in 2006.
$300,000 in scholarships distributed to 154 Indian college students.
We provide advocacy as a DBE stakeholder representative on the WisDOT Trans-AC and sub-committees, and the US 41 DBE Goal Setting Technical Analysis (GSTA) and voting member on the Technical/Business Sub-committees.
Professional technical assistance services consultant (e.g. performing WisDOT DBE Support Services contract work).
We are a community of wealth builders.
The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW) includes the members, sponsors, staff and those who work with us to promote business and economic development in Wisconsin Indian Country.
What We Do
We mentor our members through the start-up of new businesses and at every stage of business development. We provide one-on-one management counseling and host regular business development events throughout the state. Our members enjoy access to a wide range of resources, which include financial products/services networking opportunities with community business leaders and fund-raising events to support special initiatives.
AICCW facilitates several economic development seminars throughout the state in an effort to reach out to potential entrepreneurs in the rural communities of Wisconsin Indian country. These seminars are designed to provide insights, best practices, direction and support for opportunities for business development, such as: business planning; financial management; marketing; professional networking.
Other annual activities include: our awards banquet which incorporates a celebration of Business of the Year Awards and The American Indian Student Scholarship presentation, a golf outing, and a reception hosted at the Indian Summer Festival.
The mission of First American Capital Corporation (FACC) is to perform business development activities that benefit Wisconsin’s Indian Country by increasing access to capital in the form of business loans, providing technical assistance services that strengthen the skills of our entrepreneurs, and by advocating for Indian owned business opportunities, both on and off the reservations.
Who We Are
FACC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was formed in 2002 by its sister agency, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW).
The primary focus of FACC is operating a small businessRevolving Loan Fund that makes loans to Native American owned businesses in Wisconsin. This increases access to capital for businesses in our target market.
The secondary and equally important focus of FACC is to offer technical assistance services to these businesses to make sure there is a quality support system in place for Indian owned business in Wisconsin. FACC’s Loan Officers are highly qualified individuals with real world work experience.
How we started FACC
In 2001, the then Wisconsin Department of Commerce formed an ad hoc committee to discuss opportunities for economic development within the state’s Native American community. AICCW was asked to serve on this ad hoc committee along with other tribal economic development employees and other tribal leaders. The committee identified that the number one barrier to developing new small businesses and growing existing businesses, was limited access to business capital. The idea for a new revolving loan fund was born, and the initial funding to start FACC was provided by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. FACC has been successful in obtaining funding from the US Small Business Administration (SBA), USDA Rural Development, First Nations, Oweesta, the CDFI Fund, Bank of America, and others.
FACC is governed by a 7-member Board of Directors, all of whom are members of federally-recognized Indian tribes.
FACC is a Certified CDFI
The term “CDFI” means Community Development Financial Institution. A CDFI is a company, usually a non-profit, that directs financial resources to underserved communities. In the case of FACC, we direct financial resources the Native American community in the form of small business loans.
In 2004 FACC became a certified Community Development Financial Institution with the US Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund. FACC was the very first Native organization in Wisconsin to earn this certification and allowed FACC to obtain funding from the CDFI Fund.
FACC is a certified SBA Microlender
In 2007 FACC became an Intermediary under the US Small Business Administration’s Microloan program. Simply put, the Microloan program is a funding source for FACC and way to make small loans to emerging businesses, including businesses that may not qualify for traditional bank loans.
What is an “Intermediary”? - What it means is the SBA makes a long term loan to FACC, and FACC in turn relends the money to the small business. This improves access to business loans because it provides funds to FACC and delegates the authority to make the loan decision to FACC.
FACC was the first Native American agency in the nation to access this SBA program.
AICCW | FACC STAFF
Gary has over 25 years of work experience in Wisconsin’s Indian Country. Gary formed and managed for 5 years the UW system’s very first Native American Small Business Development Center (SBDC) out of UW-Stevens Point. Gary has worked as a consultant for Wisconsin tribes, AICCW, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and other clients. Gary has an excellent knowledge of the various minority business certifications available through the State of WI agencies. Gary also administers the various training programs and seminars offered by AICCW and FACC.
Bev is a tribal member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux tribe of South Dakota. Bev has worked for the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of WI and FACC since 2008. Bev handles all of the administrative and back office duties for AICCW and FACC.
Development Services Manager
Christopher Cote is an Anishinaabe first-generation descendant of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians located in Northern Michigan. He has worked in the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry for seven years, most recently as a Financial Controller and Operations Manager before joining First American Capital Corporation, Inc. (FACC) in April.
Clarissa is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation. She graduated from Spotted Eagle High School 98'. Clarissa has over 20 years experience in the administrative field specializing in A/P A/R. Clarissa joined AICCW FACC in April 19' to handle all administrative duties and staff support.