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Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Is Incubating Small Businesses

Stacey Montooth, RSIC

Johni Bill is a member of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony who just opened her own salon called Alluring Beauty in Sparks. Colony spokeswoman Stacey Montooth says Johni is a role model for other Native American entrepreneurs, who can face unique challenges. Montooth spoke to our contributor Brook Bentley of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly to explain why.

Lately, the colony has been focused on supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs. After celebrating the recent opening of Alluring Beauty, colony leaders are hopeful that another enterprise will soon open its doors.

“That business is run by two brothers, who happen to be twins, who are tribal members and they want to be coffee manufacturers, so they’re actually going to make coffee, package it, and sell it to retailers and wholesalers,” explains Montooth.

Being a successful entrepreneur is challenging for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for local tribal members.

“The cold, hard facts are that as a population, Native Americans are on the lower end of the socioeconomic stratum, so we have higher unemployment than most ethnicities.”

Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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