I would like to thank our congressional delegation and Governor Noem for their support
President Rodney M. Bordeaux
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
For the past several decades, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Todd County has been among the three poorest counties in America. Many of our people are unemployed long-term and live in poverty. We just don’t have enough jobs.
Our Rosebud Casino, Hotel and Restaurant provides vitally important jobs and revenue. With the National COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe acted to protect the public by closing our facility when the President and the CDC announced that gatherings of more than 10 people posed dangers of coronavirus community contagion. As a result, we had to furlough 75% of our employees when we closed.
Gaming is vital to the South Dakota economy. Tribal gaming generates 2,800 jobs statewide, Deadwood generates 1,200 jobs, and the SD video lottery generates 5,000 jobs and provides 25% of the state budget.
We were very concerned about our workers, their families and our community, so we called upon Governor Noem and our Congressional delegation to assist us in securing SBA Paycheck Protection relief. On behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, I would like to thank our congressional delegation and Governor Noem for their support.
In our view, the SBA Paycheck Protection is an emergency program designed to assist “any business,” including any “tribal business,” to weather the “shelter-in-place” requirement for addressing the National Emergency. Yet, SBA limited relief for “legal gambling” business by regulation.
Senator Thune wrote to the Treasury and SBA to fix this problem: “Congress intended to make more industries eligible for the new Paycheck Protection Program …. I respectfully request that … that PPP eligibility be extended to legal gaming businesses, including those in Indian country, that otherwise meet the small business criteria.”
Senator Rounds said, “As the SBA and Treasury begin to execute on your vital mission to provide relief for our nation's small businesses, it is imperative that every small business — including those in the gaming industry — be eligible for assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program.”
Congressman Johnson, together with N.D. Congressman Armstrong, said, “We appreciate your assistance in [ensuring] small gaming operations, including small tribal gaming operations … are supported under the PPP and EIDL in an equivalent way to how large gaming operations were provided for under the Loan and Guarantees Program.”
Governor Noem said, “Throughout South Dakota, small gaming businesses are among the top job creators in their respective communities. Many of South Dakota's small gaming businesses have already been affected by the pandemic, and we are looking for every possible option to assist these businesses and the employees who may suffer the greatest consequences. This matter is vitally important to many of our tribal communities.”
On behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, we want to express our thanks to Senator Thune, Senator Rounds, Congressmen Johnson and Governor Noem for their leadership in helping our Dakota enterprises with relief for our employees and their families.
We also want to thank the North Dakota Congressional delegation—Senators Hoeven and Cramer, Congressman Armstrong and Governor Burgum for their hard work to save jobs.
Under the strong leadership of our elected representatives, Treasury and SBA made Paycheck Protection available to Dakota gaming employees. Wopila Tanka,
President Rodney M. Bordeaux, Rosebud Sioux Tribe