Tuesday, February 07, 2012 2:04:45 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Department of Commerce Announces Economic Development Planning Grant Awards
(HELENA) – The Montana Department of Commerce awarded a total of over $160,000 in economic development planning grants to organizations across the state. The Department’s grant review committee approved applications for five Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) planning grants totaling $123,375. The committee also approved two Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development (CDBG-ED) planning grants totaling $40,000.
“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.
CDBG-ED planning grants are awarded to local governments to help stimulate economic development activities in Montana. CDBG-ED receives its funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is awarded to states annually.
The grant awards include the following:
Great Northern Development Corporation, located in Wolf Point, received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist in the preparation of a needs assessment that will cover the six counties within its service area. Great Northern Development Corporation’s service area has been impacted by recent developments in the oil and gas industry and includes the counties of Daniels, Roosevelt, Sheridan, McCone, Valley and Garfield. Roosevelt County received $25,000 of CDBG-ED funds to assist Great Northern Development Corporation with the cost of this needs assessment that covers the six counties within its service area.
Kootenai River Development Council, Inc., located in Libby, received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist Eureka Consulting and Sales, located in Eureka, with the completion of an engineering feasibility study and business plan for its Griz Guard product. Griz Guard is being developed to improve pepper spray products that they are effective and easier to use during an encounter with a Grizzly bear.
Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area, Inc., located in Joliet, received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist Red Lodge Mountain Resort with the completion of a transit system study in Red Lodge. The planning effort will provide Red Lodge Mountain with plans for a gondola ride and/or bus system to allow visitors a much more convenient and safer means of traveling between the town and the resort.
Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area, Inc.,located in Joliet,received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist the Big Sky Economic Development Authority, located in Billings, with the completion of a target industry analysis for Yellowstone County. The analysis will enable Big Sky Economic Development Authority to better understand what the competitive advantages are of Yellowstone County and how the Big Sky Economic Development Authority can better align their resources to further economic growth in the Yellowstone County Region.
Montana West Economic Development Corporation,located in Kalispell, received $18,375 of BSTF funds to assist Hurraw! Balm with the completion of a Preliminary Architectural Report. The Montana based manufacturer, which is located in Whitefish, has outgrown its home-based business setup and is proposing to move into a new facility. Hurraw! lip balm is an all natural product, containing only organic ingredients.
Toole County received $15,000 of CDBG-ED funds to assist with the preparation of a strategic analysis that will examine future infrastructure needs and identify social impacts of anticipated economic grown within Toole County.
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. Additional information about the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund program can be found at the BSTF website, which is www.bstf.mt.gov.
CDBG-ED is a federally funded program. Besides planning grants, the CDBG-ED program assists businesses by making fixed-rate financing available to them at reasonable interest rates and by providing public improvements in support of economic development activities. CDBG-ED provides flexibility in interest rates and loan terms to complement conventional business financing and other State and Federal business financing programs. Additional information about the Montana Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development Program can be found at the CDBG-ED website, which is www.cdbged.mt.gov.