Study Examines Economic Impact Of Tribal Owned Businesses In Michigan

A new study looks at the economic impact of non-gaming related tribal-owned businesses in Michigan. Waséyabek Development Company CEO Deidra Mitchell tells WSJM News the study came out of meetings between tribal leaders.

“We know that we’re doing good things in Indian Country, but we really don’t collectively have anything to point to, and we all as tribal leaders aren’t aware of what other tribes are doing, and so we started talking about that,” Mitchell said.

The study found 38 non-gaming business entities, owned and managed by tribes in Michigan, generated a statewide economic impact of $288 million in 2019.

“What the study showed is that tribes are very relevant. They’re very strong business partners doing good things in the state of Michigan and for their communities, and so that will hopefully help put together some tribal business entities with investors, bankers, community leaders.”

Mitchell says the study was given to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as new opportunities for partnerships are sought. She says it’s also good to have the information so the tribes themselves know of their economic impact. They looked at businesses owned by nine tribes in the state, including the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. You can find the report right here.