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Published on March 15th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Red Heritage Media of the Catawba Indian Nation named first Native-American SBA Government Contractor in the State of South Carolina

Pictured (L-R): Michael Corp-SBA Lead Business Opportunity Specialist, Ronnie Beck-Small Business Coordinator/Nation, Chris Cates-President/Red Heritage Media, Jack Canty-Director of Economic Development/Nation, Gerry Martin-Executive Producer/Red Heritage Media, and Carl Faison-SBA Business Opportunity Specialist.

The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) South Carolina District Office recently recognized the Catawba Indian Nation’s Red Heritage Media firm as a government contractor in the agency’s 8(a) Business Development Program.

Under the 8(a) Program; small, disadvantaged businesses are provided a broad scope of business development assistance ranging from specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development provided by the SBA and authorized resource partners.

“We are pleased to welcome the Catawba Indian Nation into the SBA’s 8(a) program,” said SBA South Carolina District Director Elliott Cooper, who is also the acting Regional Administrator for Region 4. “This is a historical moment for the tribe, which is located in York County, as this announcement makes them the first-ever firm that is wholly owned by a federally recognized Native American tribe to be included in the 8(a) program in our state’s history.”

According the Catawba Indian Nation’s website the Nation engages in many thriving programs and services for its 3100 members. The tribe is operated by the Executive Committee with a full support staff of 48 employees. The tribe has a Section 17 Corporation called The Corporate Nation. Red Heritage was formed under this corporation in January 2016. In July of last year, the Executive Committee appointed 7 board members to oversee the Corporate Nation and act as the official business arm of the tribe. This model is used throughout Indian country and creates separation between politics and business.

“Economic development is one of the Catawba Indian Nation’s components in its portfolio of programs and services,” said Chris Cates, president of Red Heritage Media. “Entrepreneurship is considered a vital element to our success. Red Heritage Media is a full service production company serving the feature film, documentary, commercial & episodic television production industries. In addition, the company has many production accomplishments dating back to 2005 which includes feature documentaries, corporate media work, and other various communication works.

The company is operated by Chris Cates, Gerry Martin, and Benjamin McGuire. The trio has combined experience in computer technology, the media and film production industry and has delivered content to Universal, Disney, Fox, MGM, Discovery, BET, Fox Sports, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, PBS and more. In addition, the company is currently providing post production services for a faith based feature film that wrapped production in February, and other projects for Chevy MotorSports, Shell / Pennzoil and a Ft. Mill SC based Fortune 500 company.

“We operate a full service film production and post production operation out of our Fort Mill offices. Our long range vision includes the development of sound stages, and a film school,” Cates said.

Again, the South Carolina District Office of the SBA is pleased to have Red Heritage Media as a firm in our 8(a) Program.

Since 1953, the SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.

About the 8(a) Business Development Program

The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Participation in the program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage. The program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.


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