By: Gary Mejchar, Co-Executive Director/Development for FACC
Published: November 7, 2023
We may work in the same building, but the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW) and the First American Capital Corporation (FACC) are two very different organizations. We are sister organizations affiliated through bylaws — both working to promote and support economic and business development within the Native Nations communities and among tribal members in Wisconsin.
FACC and AICCW have a shared history. The chamber created FACC as its Revolving Loan Fund more than 20 years ago, but that’s where the mission connection ends.
Today, the two organizations are separate non-profits and conduct their work very differently.
Here’s a closer look at both groups and what they do:
AICCW serves as the chamber of commerce for Native-owned businesses and Tribal Enterprises across the state, offering targeted services to Indigenous entrepreneurs, as well as Tribal businesses. AICCW advocates for, provides access to, and delivers economic development resources, tools and networks to Wisconsin’s Native Nations and development professionals.
Chamber members have access to a range of resources from financial products and services to networking opportunities with community business leaders. AICCW also helps businesses grow through the facilitation of economic development seminars that provide best practices, direction and support for business development opportunities.
The AICCW serves as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) stakeholder representative on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Advisory Committee (Trans-AC) and I-41 DBE Stakeholder Advisory Committee. It also works with the Economic Development Association (EDA), Wisconsin Procurement Institute and Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council to collaborate on the delivery of the Wisconsin Tribal Economic Development Resources Toolbox events.
The AICCW is dedicated to promoting business and economic development in Wisconsin Industry Country. Visit www.aiccw.org to learn more.
FACC is driven to help Wisconsin entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed using its Revolving Loan Fund and providing technical assistance services to its clients. The organization delivers professional guidance to help you navigate through financial options so you can secure the resources you need, allowing you to focus on what you do best — run your business.
A professional, yet approachable partner, FACC is a trusted source committed to its clients’ success. The tagline of “We honor your business” reflects the respect and reverence the organization has for all aspects of its clients’ business operations.
FACC looks beyond traditional lending, working closely with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide funding to small business owners and entrepreneurs through its Community Advantage loan — even when they are not approved for conventional financing — and its Microloan program, which provides loans up to $50,000 to help launch small businesses and expand.
FACC was the first certified Native CDFI in the nation to offer SBA Microloans. The FACC was also the first certified Native Community Development Financial Institution (NCDFI) in Wisconsin, allowing FACC to provide accessible and affordable business loans statewide. Also, FACC became a designated Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Key Strategic Partner in 2018, which empowers FACC to deliver state resources to Wisconsin Tribes and Tribal members.
Beyond serving as a funding resource, FACC provides its clients with one-to-one technical assistance, ranging from helping to create a business plan to becoming a certified government contractor. While the FACC is deeply engaged in Native business lending, we are honored to serve others in our eligible markets as well. To us, it’s more than a loan — we are providing a personal investment in your future.
FACC is more than a financial partner. We are the voice of a friend, a colleague or a family member who provides honest, impactful advice that results in increased opportunities for your business.
FACC provides “boots on the ground” assistance to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed. Our understanding of tribal processes makes us a valuable partner on your journey as we help you navigate challenges and capitalize upon opportunities.
Learn more at faccwi.org.
Gary Mejchar is co-executive director/development for FACC. You can reach him at [email protected].