Division of Commerce
The EBCI Division of Commerce’s mission is “To provide vision, planning, promotion and execution in order to drive community and economic development to enrich the lives of our people.”
The EBCI Division of Commerce is divided into three major areas of focus, which consist of Strategic/Tribal Planning, Enterprise Development, and Destination Marketing. The Division of Commerce is administered and managed by the Secretary of Commerce, who reports directly to the Principal Chief.
- The Strategic Planning Department encompasses the areas of Tribal planning, which includes the responsibility for developing and implementing the Tribe’s five-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS); Tribal planning also includes site reviews, tower reviews, Sign and Chiefing Ordinance Administration, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and financial administration. The Secretary of Commerce interfaces significantly with the Strategic Planning Department in the recruitment and retention of business and retail entities wishing to be located or already located on any EBCI properties.
- The Enterprise Development Department provides business development assistance to Tribal members through counseling and assistance programs for new and existing businesses. We assist our clients in writing business plans, preparing financial projections and loan packages, and in finding retail property that will house their small businesses. This department also provides individual trainings on contract bidding, marketing, bookkeeping, cash flow, and budget counseling. Enterprise Development pulls credit reports and reviews them with clients. In-depth assistance is provided via one-on-one evaluations of credit reports and development of a strategy to provide guidance to clients on how to improve their credit score. Program staff also assist clients in preparing Loan Financial Package documents, pro forma, and loans. They also conduct background checks. Enterprise Development also manages the Cherokee Bottled Water Program, which provides quality water to the EBCI and other customers.
- The Destination Marketing Department focuses on improving visitors’ overall experience in Cherokee. The department is responsible for executing a strategic media and creative plan to help enhance and promote Cherokee’s attractions as well as community and special events designed to increase overnight visitation. Through these efforts the overall economic impact of tourism greatly benefits the EBCI with direct revenues, Tribal levy, and privilege taxes. This department also coordinates and directs events for the EBCI, including events at the Cherokee Fair Grounds, and manages the various EBCI Welcome Center locations. The Destination Marketing Department also houses the Cherokee One Feather newspaper, which is designated and recognized as the official publication of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, providing instruction and information to the Cherokee community.