SAULT STE. MARIE, Michigan, April 7, 2022 – In an effort to diversify the Sault Tribe’s revenue stream, Sault Tribe Inc. (STI), the tribe’s nascent business holdings company, got its start via Tribal Resolution, and was formally approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior back in 2008. With an initial slate of Corporate Board of Directors appointed by the Sault Tribe Board of Directors later in 2019, STI has worked quickly to explore partnerships through a variety of projects and industries. As a testament to the profitability of the business holdings model, STI returned its first dividend distribution in 2021, a $3.2 million share directly to the Tribe.
Sault Tribe Inc. now has numerous projects in the works, fielding a number of opportunities after successfully completing the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) lengthy 8(a) program certification process with STI-owned Chippewa Government Solutions, LLC. With an evolving leadership structure, STI continues to add to its diverse portfolio of business holdings and project developments. In an effort to continue the growth plan for additional pending SBA 8(a) certified companies, Binesi Contracting, LLC was formed late in 2021. The core strategic objective identified for Binesi is to partner with a successful Sault Tribe member-owned business leader in order to build a portfolio of contracting work over the next two years, laying the groundwork for an additional successful SBA 8(a) application and ultimately leading to the capacity to pursue Government sole source contracting work across the U.S.. Binesi was formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) registered by the state of Michigan and owned 51% majority by Sault Tribe Inc., and 49% by Tribal Ventures LLC, a Sault Tribe member-owned company with nearly four decades of experience in construction project management.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the Sault Tribe has successfully worked together to secure substantial American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA); Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; as well as additional Federal funding, allowing the Tribe to address significant capital needs and economic growth initiatives. In an effort to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the combined funds have led to an unusually high rate of capital construction projects throughout the Sault Tribe. These sizable opportunities are complex projects, occurring at a time when the Sault Tribe as a whole is facing some of the most significant staffing shortages in its history. In addressing the Sault Tribe’s responsibility in managing high-risk capital projects, delays and mistakes often spur superfluous challenges, resulting in excessive expenses and time lost from contractors.
On March 15, 2022, the Sault Tribe Board of Directors passed Resolution 2022-90, authorizing a sole source award for Binesi Contracting, LLC to perform construction management services for the Sault
Tribe. The Board of Directors recognized the opportunity to address the Tribe’s deficiencies regarding these complex capital projects. Observing how other growth-oriented Tribes across the country successfully implemented experienced construction project management teams, Binesi Contracting, LLC, through the expertise of Tribal Ventures, LLC, will be tasked with maintaining a cost effective and time pertinent schedule for project construction management services.
The Sault Tribe Board of Directors has made the decision to address internal challenges, along with the current, unique funding opportunities, by leveraging and engaging an STI startup venture to grow work history, seeking to advance the SBA 8(a) certification process for Binesi and securing large-scale opportunities across the Sault Tribe and the Nation for the foreseeable future. It should be noted that as a business instrument of the Sault Tribe and Sault Tribe Inc., Binesi Contracting, LLC does not hold control nor dominion over future projects and cannot restrict similar engagements with any other tribal member-owned companies. It is the Sault Tribe Board of Director’s hope that Binesi can serve as a successful business model for future partnerships and joint ventures with other tribal member-owned businesses. Pursuant to the Sault Tribe’s and Federal government’s procurement guidelines, the use of any Federal funding under this business model shall be compliant with all requirements under applicable Tribal and Federal law.
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