Int’l Economic Dev’t Council meets with CNMI stakeholders

Posted on Jul 29 2022


The CNMI Small Business Development Center at Northern Marianas College, together with the CNMI Department of Commerce and various local stakeholders met with the International Economic Development Council in order to discuss ways to provide technical assessment and capacity building services to the CNMI. In photo from left is Ivan Mereb, Victor Garza, Mercilynn Palec, Jo Anna Ada, Ginny Gilliam, Delaney Luna, Nadine Deleon Guerrero, Aubry Hocog, Jonovan Lizama, Brett Doney, David Atalig, Dean Manglona, and Manny Camacho. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

As part of the CNMI Small Business Development Center’s efforts to promote economic growth, the CNMI SBDC at the Northern Marianas College recently met with members from the International Economic Development Council in order to discuss ways to provide technical assessment and capacity building services to the CNMI.

IEDC, through funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, is offering these services to the CNMI through March 31, 2024. This program is focused on both natural disaster and COVID-19 recovery, as well as building economic resilience to future disruptions. 

Throughout the project, IEDC will conduct one team visit and a needs assessment report, six to eight technical assistance projects (on-site or virtual), and two virtual trainings.

As part of the first visit in the CNMI, the team gathered information on the CNMI’s experiences during COVID-19, and the lasting effects of Super Typhoon Yutu, identified economic recovery and resilience priorities through meetings with community partners, private sector, and government agencies.

In addition, CNMI SBDC, the CNMI Department of Commerce, and the IEDC team met with small business owners, farmers, and community partners on the island of Rota. The team also met with Division of Land and Natural Resources director David Calvo, who oversees the heritage coffee farming operation, a pilot program supported by DLNR on Rota. 

“We are excited to welcome IEDC to Rota to assist in their assessment of our island’s needs,” Calvo said. 

The team also met with Rota Chamber of Commerce’s Steven McCoy and Jackie Manglona to discuss the immediate goals of the RCC and how IEDC could be of assistance. The agencies also met with Francisco Atalig (Atalig Farm, Teteto), Maria Fujihira (Fujihira Farm, Teteto), Prudencio Manglona (Manglons Farm, Sinapalo I). 

After its first visit, IEDC will propose recommendations for technical assistance and capacity building, including but not limited to small business development and entrepreneurship, sustainable tourism recovery, technology-led rural development, economic diversification, and workforce development.

The IEDC is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest national and global organization of its kind. More information about IEDC can be found at

The CNMI SBDCN is composed of the CNMI SBDC lead center on Saipan, the Rota SBDC, and Tinian SBDC. CNMI SBDCN is partially funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and NMC. Contact your local SBDC at P.O. Box 501250 Saipan, MP 96950, Tel: (670) 237-6888, or email (PR)

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