Governor Bullock Announces Economic Development Grants to Create 97 New Jobs, Help Main Street Businesses Grow and Expand

Tuesday, April 11, 2017/Categories: Market MT, Funds Awarded

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced $860,366 in grants to help businesses in seven Montana communities grow and create 97 new jobs for hard-working Montanans.

From manufacturing and tech start-ups to value-added ag and craft brewing, Montana’s economy is growing and adding jobs faster than any other state,” Governor Bullock said. “This investment in our small businesses enables them to grow and hire more workers, strengthening our communities and our local economies.”

The funds are being awarded through the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) program. BSTF provides state funds to promote long-term stable economic growth in Montana through two categories: job creation and planning. More information can be found at www.bstf.mt.gov.

Including the grants listed below, BSTF this fiscal year has awarded $1.7 million in job creation funds for 249 new jobs and $775,022 in planning funds for 40 projects. Since July 2016, BSTF grants have positively impacted 29 Montana communities.

Full List of Grant Recipients:

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) – Job Creation

  • Missoula County received $60,000 to assist Audience Awards, Inc. to expand, which will allow the company to create eight new jobs in Missoula. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, software, furnishings and reimbursement of wages. Audience Awards, Inc. is in the business of securing high quality video assets for major brand marketers to use in their marketing programs.
  • Ravalli County received $22,500 to assist Everstone Sustainable Products, LLC to expand, which will allow the company to create three new jobs in Hamilton. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment and lease rate reduction. Everstone Sustainable Products, LLC is a startup business that manufacturers, fabricates and installs recycled glass surfacing panels.
  • Missoula County received $29,600 to assist HB Enterprises, Inc. to expand, which will allow the company to create four new jobs in Missoula. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, software, furnishings and reimbursement of wages. GatherBoard is one of HB Enterprises, Inc.’s marketing tools that provides a functional calendar.
  • Missoula County received $75,000 to assist Modern Entrepreneur, LLC to expand, which will allow the company to create 10 new jobs in Missoula. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, furniture, software, lease rate reduction and reimbursement of wages. Modern Entrepreneur, LLC offers a range of full-service digital sales and marketing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.
  • The City of Bozeman received $80,000 to also assist Orbital Shift, Inc. to expand, which will allow the company to create 16 new jobs in Bozeman. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, software, furnishings, lease rate reduction and reimbursement of wages.
  • Missoula County received $120,000 to assist Orbital Shift, Inc. to expand, which will allow the company to create 16 new jobs in Missoula. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, software, furnishings, lease rate reduction and reimbursement of wages. Orbital Shift, Inc. is a cloud software application that allows employers to create and maintain staff schedules.
  • Flathead County Economic Development Authority received $247,500 to assist SmartLam, LLC to expand, which will allow the company to create 33 new jobs in Columbia Falls. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment and reimbursement of wages. SmartLam, LLC will be building a cross-laminated timber manufacturing facility.
  • Flathead County Economic Development Authority received $15,000 to assist Stoll Innovations, LLC dba Learned Reality to expand, which will allow the company to create two new jobs in Kalispell. The BSTF funds will be used for wage reimbursement. Stoll Innovations, LLC specializes in providing customized employee training services using digital content/tools, including interactive websites and customer support mechanisms for the national flood insurance industry.
  • Missoula County received $37,500 to assist VIM & VIGR, LLC to expand, which will allow the company to create five new jobs in Missoula. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, software, furnishings and reimbursement of wages. VIM & VIGR manufactures fashionable compression socks.

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) – Planning

  • Headwaters RC&D Area, Inc. received $17,750 to assist Beaverhead County with the completion of a recreation master plan that would develop new recreational facilities and market the outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the county.
  • Sweetgrass Development Corporation received $24,500 to assist the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council with the completion of a Preliminary Architectural Report and Preliminary Engineering Report for the proposed Blackfeet Nursing Home and Elderly Care Center. The proposed facility will replace the current Blackfeet Care Center, which is more than 45-years-old and is deteriorating.
  • Southeastern Montana Development Corporation received $27,000 to assist Custer County with the completion of a feasibility study that will assist the county in determining if taking possession of the VA complex in Miles City would be an economic benefit for the county. The VA complex is over 76,000 square feet and houses the 29-bed VA nursing home and numerous nonprofits.
  • Montana Business Assistance Connection, Inc. received $26,000 to complete a workforce assessment for the greater Helena area to determine business’s needs via outreach, identifying indicators in the area, new opportunities for industry clustering and a strategic plan.
  • Prospera Business Network received $27,350 to assist Schoggi, Inc. dba West Paw Design with the completion of an export market expansion plan for the far east region. West Paw Design, which is located in Bozeman, manufactures and distributes pet products.
  • Prospera Business Network received $18,576 to assist ThinkTank Design Group, Inc. with the completion of a redevelopment plan. ThinkTank will be organizing a regional/urban design assistance team to specifically focus on creating a redevelopment plan for the Northeast Urban Renewal District in Bozeman.
  • Prospera Business Network received $32,090 to assist West Paw Properties, LLC with the completion of facility expansion drawings, including schematic designs, design development, construction drawings and specifications. West Paw Properties, LLC is the holding company for the facility that houses West Paw Design.

More funding opportunities are still available. The deadline for submitting an application for consideration at the next Grant/Loan Review Committee meeting is April 26. For more information, contact Section Manager Annmarie Robinson by phone at 406.841.2250 or by visiting www.bstf.mt.gov.

The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development markets Montana’s spectacular unspoiled nature, vibrant and charming small towns, breathtaking experiences, relaxing hospitality, and competitive business climate to promote the state as a place to visit and do business.

 
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DIRECTOR'S OFFICE | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
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