Commerce Announces Grant Opportunities for Tribal Business Development

Scott Smoker-Photo courtesy of Smoke Signal Studio HELENA, Mont. -- The Montana Department of Commerce announced today that application periods for four grant programs aimed at bolstering tribal business development and strengthening indigenous entrepreneurship in Montana are opening soon. The grant funding is provided by Commerce’s Office of Indian Country Economic Development (OICED).

“These initiatives underline Commerce’s dedication to provide not just funding, but a platform for innovative ideas to flourish, businesses to expand and traditions to thrive,” said Scott Osterman, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. "Through these grants, tribal businesses are empowered to drive innovation, create opportunities and shape a prosperous future for their communities."

In 2022, Smoke Signal Studio, a video production company in Poplar, received $14,000 of IEF grant funding to purchase new camera equipment for cinema production and computer equipment to support the upgrade.

“The video gear and equipment I purchased through the IEF grant has allowed me to land higher quality work. I recently landed a job that was due in part to the tools and equipment I now offer as a part of my services,” said Scott Smoker, owner of Smoke Signal Studio. “The IEF grant has helped me scale my business in that I am able to meet the requirements of nearly any video job that comes my way."

Interested individuals/entities are encouraged to participate in these grant opportunities. Application details and eligibility criteria are at

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