Dineh Chamber promotes stronger economy through Navajo contracting changes

Al Henderson
Al Henderson

Al Henderson, secretary of the Dineh Chamber of Commerce WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Roughly 70 percent of contracts on Navajo Nation go to non-Navajo businesses, which drags 70 cents out of every dollar the tribe spends off of the reservation.

That’s according to executives at the Dineh Chamber of Commerce, who say the tribe should be doing more to enforce the Navajo Business Operations Act, the purpose of which is to cycle dollars within the reservation. Jeff Begay, chair of the Dineh Chamber of Commerce Given the estimates for economic leakage, Chamber Chair Jeff Begay thinks better enforcement of the act is one step toward helping improve the Nation’s economy and create a better business environment. He says much of the money entering the Navajo reservation will just as quickly leave it without administration intervention.

“We have $1.8 billion awarded to the tribe (under the American Rescue Plan), and we suspect that 90 percent of that or more will go to off-reservation businesses,” Begay told Tribal Business News . “We are going to create millionaires in these border town companies, whereas our Navajo businesses should be the millionaires.”

The Chamber’s proposal is for tribal operations to take a closer look at picking companies from the “Navajo source list,” a list of certified Navajo-owned companies seeking preferential treatment for Navajo contracts. The list functions similar to the federal government’s 8(a) program by giving Navajo-owned companies an advantage in bidding on Navajo Nation contracts, according to Chamber Secretary Al Henderson.

“We want to stand up […]

Click here to view original article at tribalbusinessnews.com