Wednesday, May 30, 2012 1:45:45 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Department of Commerce Announces Economic Development Grant Awards
(HELENA) – The Montana Department of Commerce has awarded eight Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) planning grants totaling $196,250 in support of economic development planning activities across Montana.
“Planning grants are essential economic development tools that allow community leaders to invest smartly in the future of their citizens,” said Dore Schwinden, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce.
BSTF planning grants are awarded to local Certified Regional Development Corporations (CRDC), tribal governments and local economic development agencies not located in a CRDC region, to assist in planning efforts to promote long-term, stable economic growth in both the region and Montana.
The grant awards include the following:
Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area, Inc., located in Joliet, received $31,250 of BSTF funds to assist Aligned Medical Solutions, Inc. of Billings with the schematic design and design development for a new facility. Aligned Medical Solutions manufactures and sterilizes custom surgical kits for the acute care and ambulatory surgery centers.
Montana West Economic Development, located in Kalispell, received $26,250 of BSTF funds for the completion of a concept plan and engineering services for a new rail park in Kalispell. The Flathead County Economic Development Authority purchased 40 acres on the edge of Kalispell for the purpose of developing a rail-served industrial park.
Headwater Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area, Inc. located in Butte, received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist with an Engineering Cost Feasibility Study. The study will analyze the feasibility of using the old YMCA building in Butte as student housing and/or a Math and Science Academy.
Sweetgrass Development, located in Great Falls, received a total of $78,750 for three area projects:
- Sweetgrass Development will use a BSTF award of $26,250 to assist with a regional assessment of the potential energy related impacts within the counties of Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Toole and Teton.
- An award of $26,250 will be used to assist with a market analysis for Demeter Bio-Resources of Great Falls. Demeter Bio-Resources intends to utilize cultivated ag-resources in Montana to produce a basket of renewable food, energy, fuel and basic materials. The grant will conduct two market studies that will define the market opportunity of two product lines and will operate a pilot plant utilizing Demeter’s tubers.
- An award of $26,250 will be used to assist with construction design documents for PIZAZZ. PIZAZZ is a gourmet kitchen store in downtown Great Falls that is proposing to expand its business by adding a cooking school.
Montana Business Assistance Connection, located in Helena, received $7,500 of BSTF funds to assist ChildWise Institute in Helena with the development of a brand for the business. ChildWise is a non-profit social impact organization improving the lives of vulnerable and at-risk children.
Southeastern Montana Economic Development Corporation, located in Colstrip, received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist with the completion of Southgate subdivision construction plans in Miles City. The project is in response to the critical housing shortage in Miles City and the surrounding area as a result of the oil development in the area.
BSTF is a state-funded program. The goal of the program is to promote good-paying jobs and to promote long-term, stable economic growth in Montana. Besides planning grants, the BSTF can provide grant assistance to basic sector Montana businesses, who are hiring net new positions within their company. For additional information about BSTF, visit www.bstf.mt.gov.