Coronavirus Relief Fund Banner

Business Assistance Programs

 

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) Workforce Recovery program, Montana Department of Commerce
The BSTF Workforce Recovery program is designed to support Montana businesses that had to lay-off employees and/or reduce the hours of the employee to part-time status due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Commerce will reimburse Montana businesses based on the growth of jobs up to pre COVID-19 levels. The Workforce Recovery program will reimburse a business for the wages of full-time, permanent jobs that are created and retained for at least six months, up to a maximum of 25 jobs per business. Businesses apply directly to the program. A reimbursement of up to $7,500 per job is available to businesses in high-poverty counties. The business must match $3,750 per job. A reimbursement of up to $5,000 per job, with a $5,000 match, is available for businesses in all other counties. 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. In order to be eligible for the Business Adaptability Grant, businesses must have been in existence as of February 15, 2020. Funding available is $11 million. Deadline to apply is November 15, 2020
Apply Here


*CLOSED* Live Entertainment Grant Program, Governor’s Office of Economic Development
The Live Entertainment Grant Program is available to Montana-based businesses and non-profits that are directly engaged in the business of live entertainment, and whose revenues primarily come from live entertainment events. This grant is intended to ensure the long-term viability of live entertainment in Montana that has been severely impacted by COVID-19. Bars, restaurants, and other facilities whose primary business is anything other than live entertainment are not eligible. Businesses that are not directly responsible for the production of live entertainment events in Montana are not eligible. Examples of ineligible businesses include wedding venues, event support software, tradeshows, event planners, and tour operators. To be eligible, applicants must have either derived at least 33% of their 2019 revenue from the sale of tickets for live events or must be businesses that are directly reliant on ticketed live entertainment events but are not directly in receipt of ticket revenue. That includes only the following business types: venues, event promoters, event production, lighting and sound, rigging and stagehands, security, and other physical infrastructure. Eligible applicants’ revenue for Q2 (April 1 – June 30) 2020 must also be no greater than 10% of 2019’s Q2 (April 1 – June 30) revenue. Total funding available is $10 million.
Apply Here

*CLOSED* Montana Working Capital Program, Board of Investments and Department of Revenue
The Montana Working Capital Program is designed to aid Montana businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are eligible for grant funds to support working capital loans from eligible lenders. All Borrowers must meet the following criteria to be eligible to receive Montana Working Capital Program funding. Information will be verified in part by the Lender, Montana Board of Investments, Montana Department of Revenue, and other assisting agencies.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. The loan requesting assistance must be a commercial loan to a Montana business;
  2. The Borrower must have been no more than 30 days past due as of December 31, 2019, with the originating lender;
  3. The Borrower must be current on all other State financial obligations (i.e. income tax, property tax, payroll tax, workers comp., child support, etc.);
  4. The Borrower must be in good standing with the Montana Secretary of State;
  5. The Borrower’s business cannot be publicly traded;
  6. The Borrower must not have access to 12 months of working capital from any other sources;
  7. The Borrower cannot be engaged in any illegal activity under federal, state, or local law;
  8. The proceeds from the program may not be used for any marijuana-related business;
  9. The borrower, an owner with at least 20% ownership, or a guarantor cannot generate any revenue from marijuana-related business; and
  10. The Borrower must have experienced a 15% reduction in gross revenue attributable to the direct or indirect impacts of COVID-19.

Use of Proceeds:

Proceeds may be used for the following expenses incurred between March 12, 2020 and December 30, 2020: payroll/contract labor; employee benefits; leases/rents; inventory; utilities; insurance; advertising; repairs and maintenance; office expense; and interest for this loan request only. Proceeds may NOT be used for: real estate purchases; payment of taxes of any type; interest or principal payments on other outstanding debt; investment or re-lending of funds; dividends or distributions; or contributions to, or on behalf of, any political party, party committee, or candidate for elective office.

General Loan Terms:

  • Maximum Grant Size – $175,000 grant on a $500,000 principal loan (35/65 grant to loan).
  • Origination Fee – MBOI to pay 1% or $5,000, whichever is less.
  • Term – To be determined by Lender and Borrower.
  • Rate – To be determined by Lender and Borrower.
  • Existing term loans are ineligible for participation.
  • Existing operating notes as of March 12, 2020 must be converted to term loans.
  • The grant portion of the Working Capital Program is taxable income and a 1099 will be issued to the holder of the note.
  • Lenders who denied eligible businesses from participating in the Montana Loan Deferment Program are not eligible for the Montana Working Capital Program.
  • Loans funded in the Montana Loan Deferment Program are not eligible for the Montana Working Capital Program.
  • Loans approved in the Montana Working Capital Program are not eligible for the Montana Loan Deferment Program.

 Businesses should contact their lender to apply. Deadline to apply is Oct. 23, 2020.

*CLOSED* East Edge of Glacier Park Tourism Business Grant, Montana Department of Commerce
Tourism-reliant businesses in the Babb – St. Mary - East Glacier corridor may be eligible to apply for a grant of up to 25 percent of their 2019 gross revenue based on a 2019 tax return. The maximum award available is $40,000. Any Business Stabilization Grants or Agriculture Adaptability Grants awarded to the business will be deducted from the eligible East Edge of Glacier Park Tourism Business Grant total. The business must be located along the eastern edge of Glacier Park in the immediate vicinity of East Glacier, St. Mary or Babb, and must be a Montana-based business, pay Montana taxes, in good standing with the Secretary of State or local tribal government. To be eligible, a business must have exhausted the grant opportunities made available through the Business Stabilization or Agriculture Adaptability grant programs. Nonprofit entities are not eligible. Total funding available is $2 million. Applications open August 19, 2020. Deadline to apply is October 5, 2020.
Apply Here

*CLOSED* Montana Business Stabilization Program, Montana Department of Commerce
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 $200 million, the maximum award amount per business is $20,000. Businesses that have been awarded a grant prior to August 12, 2020 will be eligible to receive a second payment for three additional months of working capital – equal to the first payment received. New applicants are eligible to apply for up to six months of working capital or $20,000 whichever is less. Deadline to apply is September 30, 2020.

*CLOSED* 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.
  • 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 15% or greater attributable to the direct or indirect impacts from COVID-19; [Updated: August 24, 2020]
    • 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]

Application Deadlines, Awards and Funding

  • Applications received between August 22, 2020 and September 4, 2020 will be funded on September 15. [Updated August 24, 2020]
  • Applications received between September 5, 2020 and September 18, 2020 will be funded on September 29, 2020.
  • No new applications will be accepted after 5PM on September 18, 2020. [Updated August 24, 2020]
  • For any applications requiring additional review or audit, all materials must be submitted by October 21, 2020 or the application will not be considered for funding. [Updated August 24, 2020]

Montana businesses should contact their lender to access the program.

*CLOSED* 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..

*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.

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
 

We use cookies. We want to make our website more user-friendly and continuously improve it. If you continue to use the website, you agree to the use of cookies.