Ponca Tribe opens discount tobacco store in Carter Lake

Indian Country Today

Ponca Tribe opens discount tobacco store in Carter Lake

CARTER LAKE, IOWA – The Ponca Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO) opened its first tobacco outlet in Carter Lake, Iowa Dec. 5. PEDCO is the economic development arm of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and Ponca Smoke Signals is PEDCO’s first retail venture.

Ponca Smoke Signals sells quality Native American tobacco products at discount pricing via a convenient drive-thru facility. The store currently carries more than 40 varieties of cigarettes from Native tobacco manufacturers. Unlike a typical tobacco retail store, the venture will fill a rapidly growing market niche for discount tobacco products.

Ponca Smoke Signals provides the tribe with income to support valuable programs and new employment opportunities at competitive wages. The store is on tribal trust land and the tobacco products are sold without the usual state tax mark up.

“Ponca Smoke Signals will begin a new era for PEDCO” said Loy Wright, chairwoman of the PEDCO board of directors. “The variety of tobacco products Ponca Smoke Signals sells may be limited, but our vision for what is possible is not. We are proud to invite patrons to our business, and we look forward to serving their needs for years to come.”

PEDCO was chartered in 1999 and it serves as the primary economic development vehicle for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. Other PEDCO ventures include a training program for Native entrepreneurs and the establishment of a community development financial institution to serve the needs of low income tribal entrepreneurs .

PEDCO President Rebecca White said, “We are very excited to be a business in Carter Lake. There’s lots of good will and support within the community. People have been knocking at our door every day asking wanting to know when we will open. We’ve heard many positive comments about bringing a new business to this area.”

Ponca Smoke Signals is located at 1001 Avenue H, Carter Lake, Iowa. Store hours are Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday noon – 6 p.m.