By Cindy Logsdon, Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation CEO
Most Oklahomans know Native American tribes provide massive economic benefits to our state.
Our tourism and recreation attractions provide unlimited opportunities for residents and bring in visitors from across the world, and our enterprises create jobs and lasting industries in a wide variety of fields.
However, you may not be aware of the direct financial assistance we provide to citizens who want to own a home or start or expand their businesses.
It is my job as the CEO of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation to finance, promote, educate, and inspire the entrepreneurial growth, economic opportunity and financial well-being of underserved Native populations. My team works to help people move forward in life, which benefits all Oklahomans by creating strong families and communities.
We provide a wide variety of financing assistance, from $5,000 to $8 million loans, and we are funded by private gifts — such as recent large gifts from the Bank of America — as well as Tribal contributions.
We also focus on housing. We have participated in financing for multi-family developments in Choctaw and Mustang, Oklahoma, even though they do not border the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Why? Increasing the supply of housing in the Oklahoma City metro area helps create more inventory, which means more homes are available for everyone, whether they belong to a tribe or not.
For Tribal members, we also offer programs to assist young families as they purchase their first home and start building wealth. Crucially, we can offer more flexibility than other lenders, sometimes enabling down payments as low as 1.5% and credit enhancements.
Besides the financial assistance, we help families take control of their financial future by providing feedback and guiding them through big plans.
For businesses, we also offer mentorship about how to get started and develop a successful strategy. We sponsor Small Business Administration trainings, and our loans have helped entrepreneurs launch and grow apartment complexes, embroidery shops, coffee shops and car dealerships.
While our focus remains on helping Native Americans, we are not tied to projects on reservations. We serve a broad portion of the state, providing economic and lifestyle benefits for all our friends and neighbors.
In short, the CPCDC is just one of the many ways the Tribe benefits everyone in Oklahoma.
Cindy Logsdon is the CEO of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (CPCDC). Learn more at CPCDC.org.