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Business Assistance Programs

 

*NEW* Montana Loan Deferment Program, Montana Board of Investments and Department of Revenue
The Montana Loan Deferment Program is facilitated by Montana banks, credit unions, and lending institutions in partnership with the State of Montana. The governor is directing $125 million to the program with $25 million specifically dedicated to hotels and restaurants and the remaining $100 million dedicated to other eligible borrowers. Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) will be used to provide payments to participating lenders to convert existing commercial loans to interest only status, with the result being an existing borrower will be able to defer principal and interest payments on existing loans for a period of 6 to 12 months, thereby freeing up a significant amount of otherwise-dedicated capital for the borrower on a monthly basis.  Upon approval, the State of Montana will provide a lump sum CRF payment to the lender in an amount equal to the following:

  • For borrower obligations with interest rates less than 6%, an amount equal to the full interest payments for the eligible term will be funded; or
  • For borrower obligations with interest rates of 6% or higher, an amount equal to 6% interest will be funded.
  • For the duration of the eligible term, the lender will lower the interest rate to 6% for the modified deferral period.
  • For variable rate loans, the interest rate used in the calculation will be the interest rate applicable to the loan at the time the application is submitted and will be fixed at that interest rate for the term of the deferment.
  • The maximum amount of Loan Deferment Program funding per Borrower is $300,000. [Updated: 6/26/2020]
  • Entities and individuals with multiple loans for one or several businesses will be allowed to apply for each individual loan
  • Borrower is defined as an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association or any combination of these if there is common ownership. Including Holding and Operating Companies. [Updated: July 1, 2020]
  • It is the responsibility of the Lender and the Borrower to agree on a reasonable term for the deferment which will be no less than 6 months and no more than 12 months.

Eligibility

  • The Lender must be an Approved Lender with Montana Board of Investments (MBOI).
  • The Borrower must be a Montana-based business. Borrower is defined as an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association or any combination of these if there is common ownership. Including Holding and Operating Companies. [Updated: July 1, 2020
  • This program is extended on a per note basis, i.e. Lender’s may fill out an application for each current loan the Borrower would like deferred.
  • To be eligible, businesses/Borrowers must have:
      • Experienced a reduction of gross revenue of 25% or greater attributable to the direct or indirect impacts from COVID-19;
      • physical presence in Montana;
      • Been no more than 30 days past due as of December 31, 2019;
      • Been current on all other state financial obligations (i.e. income tax, property tax, payroll tax, worker’s comp, child support, etc.) as of March 12, 2020;
      • Good standing with the Montana Secretary of State; and
      • No reasonable access to 12 months of working capital from any other sources.
      • Receipt of Payroll Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, or other state grants or assistance programs does not affect eligibility. [Updated: July 1, 2020]

Montana businesses should contact their lender to access the program.

*NEW* Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant, Montana Department of Agriculture
The Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant is available to aid small and medium-sized meat processors responding to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions by supporting local meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana. Due to interruptions in national supply chains, meat processing capacity throughout the US has been significantly impacted. Supporting in-state meat processing infrastructure and capacity will provide alternative market channels for Montana’s cattle, hog and poultry producers. Examples of eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, equipment and infrastructure that increases processing and/or storage capacity, costs associated with becoming State or Federally inspected, and other business adaptation and diversification activities. Total funding available is $2,000,000, with a maximum award of $150,000. The application deadline is July 2, 2020 at 5:00 p.m..
Apply Here

*NEW* Montana Business Adaptability Grant Program, administered by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation 
 Adaptability Program will provide reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses related to keeping staff and customers safe – from the purchase of personal protective equipment to resources needed for staff to work remotely. Eligible business must be Montana-based, have incurred eligible adaptation expenses since March 1 due to COVID-19, and be in good standing with the Secretary of State or local tribal government. Nonprofit entities are eligible. Eligible expenses include costs related to communication, remote work equipment, cleaning supplies, tools to enhance social distancing and sanitation, travel and hotel costs related to quarantining workers. Total funding available is $20 million. Eligible businesses may submit up to two applications for a combined total of $10,000 of costs paid (receipts and proof of payment are required) for reimbursement.
Apply Here

*NEW* Montana Department of Commerce, Montana Business Stabilization Program
The Montana Business Stabilization Grant program will provide working capital for small businesses to support payroll, rent, accounts payable, debt service and expenses related to shifts in operations in order to retain existing businesses, retain current employees or retain business viability for future re-employment. Eligible small business must be Montana-based, employ 50 or less, have sustained a loss of revenue since Feb. 15 due to COVID 19, and be in good standing with the Secretary of State or local tribal government. Nonprofit entities are not eligible. Total funding available is $75 million, the maximum award amount per business is $10,000. 
Apply Here

*CLOSED* Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Montana Innovation Grant Program
The Montana Innovation Grant program is intended to help companies scale up, improve capabilities, or drive expanded distribution of products or services developed in response to COVID-19. Projects should demonstrate significant impact in improving public health, safety, and economic impact. Eligible companies include non-profit and for-profit businesses of less than 150 employees that have created an innovative product or service intended to directly confront the COVID-19 emergency. Applicants must have primary operations based in Montana, be in good standing with the Montana Secretary of State and must not be debarred from receiving federal or state funds. Total funding available is $5 million with a maximum award amount of $25,000. Deadline to apply is July 1, 2020.

*CLOSED* Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program
Grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID 19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Grants are intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. The need for such innovations must be driven by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Apply Here


Montana Facility Finance Authority, Emergency Loan Program
The Emergency Loan Program makes short-term loans to eligible institutions at competitive interest rates during periods of declared emergency. Eligible projects include construction and renovation, facility acquisition, refinancing of qualified outstanding debt, the purchase of equipment, operations expenses, and financing costs.
Available to: Montana Businesses
406.444.0052 | https://mtfacilityfinance.com/Programs/Emergency-Loan-Program

Montana Facility Finance Authority, Emergency Forbearance Program
The Emergency Forbearance Program is limited to current Direct and Trust Fund Loan clients of the Authority. The program can only be activated when the State or Federal government declares an emergency for all or part of the State of Montana. The Program will close upon end of the emergency declaration unless extended by Authority Board action.
Available to: Montana Businesses
406.444.0052 | https://mtfacilityfinance.com/Programs/Emergency-Forbearance-Program

Montana Department of Commerce, MicroBusiness Finance Program
Montana-based businesses with fewer than ten full-time equivalent employees and gross annual revenues of less than $1,000,000 can apply for a microbusiness loan up to $100,000 by contacting a MicroBusiness Development Corporation (MBDC). MBDCs provide capital to start or expand a business, training and technical assistance, and pre- and post-loan training valuable for the success of a small business.
Available to: Montana Businesses
406.841.2594 | https://marketmt.com/MBFP

Montana Department of Commerce, Native American Collateral Support Program
The Native American Collateral Support (NACS) Program addresses the lack of access to capital for Native American-owned businesses.  NACS addresses access to capital issues by providing collateral support security for Lenders making loans with Native American-owned businesses that only lack in sufficient collateral/equity for a business loan according to their loan risk profiles. (All other aspects of the credit analysis are satisfactory: cash flow, climate, character, and credit-worthiness). There is no origination fee to Lenders to access these funds from the Montana Department of Commerce. 
Available to: Native American-Owned Businesses
406.841.2775 | https://marketmt.com/nacs

Montana Department of Commerce, Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Planning Grants
The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Program (BSTF) Planning funds are awarded to eligible applicants to assist with economic development planning efforts that promote long-term, stable economic growth in Montana. Applications which support a critical activity to move an economic development project forward and directly assist a basic sector company are the highest priority for the Department.
Available to: Montana Businesses
406.841.2250 | https://marketmt.com/BSTF/Planning/Information

Montana Department of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The SBDC network supports ten centers around the state, focusing on counseling in areas such as financial analysis, business planning, training and workshops and loan packaging assistance to help small businesses achieve their goals.
Available to: Small Businesses
406.841.2746 | http://sbdc.mt.gov/

Montana Department of Commerce, Wood Product Revolving Loan Fund (WP RLF)
Wood Product Revolving Loan Fund (WP RLF) is available to wood product businesses experiencing loss or are financially in distress (these are loan funds)       
Available to: Montana Wood Product Businesses
406.841.2594 | http://marketmt.com/WPRLF

Montana Department of Agriculture, Growth Through Agriculture Mini-Grant Program
Mini-grants available to food and ag companies for education, promotion, marketing, and travel projects to expand agricultural development, economic activity, and employment growth. Given the current public health situation with COVID-19, special attention will be paid to projects that strengthen and expand local food offerings, distribution, and infrastructure. 
Available to: Individuals, Businesses and Industry Organizations, Public and Private Agencies, Educational Institutions, and Local Governments. 
406.444.0134 | https://agr.mt.gov/GTA

Montana Department of Agriculture, Rural Assistance Loan program
Rural Assistance Loans are available to producers with modest financial investments in agriculture. These loans finance agricultural enterprises to enhance producers' operations and assist in the economic growth and welfare of Montana agriculture.    
Available to: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and residents of Montana. Loans are available to persons who are unable to qualify for financing from commercial lenders.      
406.444.3144 | http://agr.mt.gov/I-Want-To/Apply-For/Grants-Loans/Rural-Assistance-Loans

Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Unemployment Insurance Contributions (Tax)
We provide Customer Support for Unemployment Insurance  eServices for Employers: new employer registration, filing quarterly UI wage reports, tax payment, SIDES partipation, and more. Employer Handbook found here
Available to: Employers
406.444.0690 | https://uieservices.mt.gov/_/

Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Wage and Hour Laws
Answer questions regarding State and Federal Wage and Hour laws. Also conduct complaint driven Wage and Hour related  investigations. 
Available to: Employers
406.444.6543 | http://erd.dli.mt.gov/labor-standards/wage-and-hour-payment-act


Tax Programs

Governor Steve Bullock has extended the payment and filing deadlines for 2019 individual income taxpayers to July 15 in accordance with the new federal filing deadline.
https://mtrevenue.gov/2020/03/20/2020-tax-deadline-extended/


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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