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Director O'Leary Selected as Council of State Governments' Henry Toll Fellow for the Class of 2015

Lexington, KY - Meg O'Leary, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce, is one of 48 state policymakers from across the country selected as a Council of State Governments' Henry Toll Fellow for the Class of 2015.

The class of 2015 Toll fellows represents 33 states and Puerto Rico, with 35 serving in the legislative branch, four in the judiciary, and nine hailing from the executive. A nine-member committee of state leaders, many who are Toll fellows themselves, reviewed a record number of applications to select the class.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
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Main Street Montana Project Peer-to-Peer Symposiums Announced

Workforce, Innovation, and Marketing Montana Focus of Three Symposiums

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced the launch of the Main Street Montana Project Peer-to-Peer Symposium series to be held across the state for business owners and investors to exchange ideas and learn from other industry professionals. Since the Project’s inception, business leaders have cited the need for more networking opportunities in Montana to share knowledge, experience and best practices.

Thursday, August 6, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
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Governor Bullock and Director O'Leary Announce Grants to Support Film Production in Montana

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock and Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary today announced the award of $281,519 in Big Sky Film grants to support the production of 21 new film and multimedia projects taking place in Montana.
 
“There are so many talented media makers doing business and creating valuable content in Montana,” said Bullock. “They are part of a growing industry that impacts many Montana communities and I am glad we can support these efforts that showcase all our state has to offer.”

Friday, July 24, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
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Governor Bullock and Director O'Leary Announce Business Expansion Funding for Two Missoula Area Businesses; 49 New Jobs to be Created

HELENA, MT – Governor Steve Bullock and Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary today announced the award of $367,500 in grants to fund business expansion projects for two growing Missoula area businesses. The funds are being made available through the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF).
 
“Public-private partnerships are key components to growing Montana’s economy,” said Bullock. “Every project funded through the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund is helping to create opportunities for today’s workforce and to build a stronger and more competitive economy.”

Thursday, July 23, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
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Governor Bullock and Director O'Leary Announce Research and Commercialization Technology Grants for Eight Cutting-Edge Research Projects

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock and Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary today announced the recent award of $698,091 in grants to eight research projects in Missoula, Billings, Bozeman and Belgrade. The funding is being made available through the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology (MBRCT).
 
“These state-of-the-art projects will significantly and positively impact Montana’s opportunities for economic growth,” said Bullock. “Through investments in innovative research and commercialization, we’re not only supporting cutting-edge projects and jobs today, but we’re also helping to define what Montana’s economy looks like for years to come.”
 
The MBRCT supports economic development by investing in research projects that have a clear path to commercialization. The MBRCT has funded 216 research projects totaling $41 million since 2001.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
Categories: Business
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Gardiner, Belgrade, Livingston Receive New State Funding for Tourism Promotion

HELENA – Three Montana cities have new resources for promoting travel to their areas after forming the state’s newest convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs).

Nonprofits in Belgrade, Gardiner and Livingston will receive state Lodging Facility Tax (also known as the bed tax) funds collected in fiscal year 2016 to promote tourism through a CVB. The Montana Office of Tourism (MTOT) works closely with CVBs to provide education and development resources, joint venture advertising opportunities and more.

“Tourism drives economic growth by supporting businesses and jobs across Montana,” Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary said. “By forming a CVB, each of these cities will have new ways to increase the positive impacts of tourism in their communities. We welcome and look forward to working with them.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
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Governor Bullock and Director O'Leary Announce $500,000 Coal Board Grant Award to the City of Colstrip for Wastewater Upgrades

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock and Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary announced the recent award of $500,000 to the City of Colstrip for construction costs associated with upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The Montana Coal Board made the award.

“A strong infrastructure is a critical piece of a strong economy. I am glad that we are able to support regional efforts to deal with the everyday impacts related to Montana’s coal industry through entities such as the Montana Coal Board,” said Bullock. “This is another example of Montana’s strong fiscal management assisting local economic development throughout our state.”

The City of Colstrip’s wastewater treatment plant is 37 years old, and has operated without substantial upgrades since 1978. A recent wastewater system Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) revealed several major deficiencies including inadequate pretreatment facilities and the lack of a redundant clarifier. These deficiencies create a health risk for operators, and hinder efforts to establish a successful maintenance and repair program.

Monday, July 20, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
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Montana Main Street Program to accept grant applications beginning September 1, 2015

The Montana Department of Commerce Community Development Division will begin accepting Montana Main Street project grant applications for the FY 2016 application cycle on September 1, 2015. The Montana Main Street Program guidelines can be accessed at http://mtmainstreet.mt.gov/application.mcpx.

The Montana Main Street Program awards grant funding to member communities on a competitive basis and as funding allows. Applications are evaluated by the Department of Commerce in the order that they are received and grants will be awarded on a continual basis until all funds are allocated. Funding can be used to address long range community planning and revitalization needs as well as more specific prioritized projects. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate the implementation of larger community vision and goals or as they relate to previous or concurrent larger planning efforts (such as a downtown revitalization plan, growth policy, historic preservation plan, etc). If you have questions regarding the application process or guidelines, then please contact Montana Main Street staff at (406) 841-2770 or by email at docmtmainstreet@mt.gov.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
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Director Meg O'Leary to Speak at Senator Tester's Small Business Opportunity Workshop July 17 in Missoula

On Friday, July 17, Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O'Leary will participate in Montana Senator Jon Tester's Small Business Opportunity Workshop in Missoula. The workshop, titled "Hitting Your Stride: Turning a Montana Small Business into a Montana Success," will provide attendees with top-of-the-line resources. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
Categories: Business
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Governor Bullock and Director O'Leary Announce Economic Development Funds for Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock and Montana Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary today announced the recent award of $65,000 to support economic development efforts by the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. The funds will support a Business Development Manager position, which will manage several projects critical to economic success on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
 
“This grant will support efforts by the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes to continue to build and strengthen their regional economy,” said Bullock. “We are pleased to be able to support tribal entrepreneurial ventures, create and retain jobs, and further develop infrastructure on reservations.”
 
Available through the Indian Country Economic Development (ICED) program, Director O’Leary said the funds will help the tribes bring new and existing projects to fruition.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015/Author: Ronja Abel
Categories: Business
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DIRECTOR'S OFFICE | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE. | PO BOX 200501 | HELENA, MT 59620-0501 | P: (406) 841-2700 | F: (406) 841-2701 | TDD: (406) 841-2702
 

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