Governor Steve Bullock

Office of Economic Development

Grants & Loans

The State of Montana can help lower your financial burden! In addition to the availability of low interest loans, the State of Montana also offers grant programs for business development and workforce training. Grant funds are normally not repaid by grant recipients that are creating or training workers for new jobs in Montana.

In Montana, it is also understood that businesses have challenges with the cost of training their new and existing workforce. Montana utilizes multiple funding sources to make workforce training grants to help companies with their training costs. Much of our workforce training dollars go toward new worker training, but some funds are available for incumbent worker training.

The Governor's Office of Economic Development can assist businesses access information on development financing, finance program contacts, and provide technical assistance to prospective businesses desiring to locate to the State of Montana. Please review the information below for they types of financing services the State offers:

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Grant Program

This state-funded grant program was passed in the 2005 legislative session creating the "Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund" that provides grant dollars to local or tribal governments that can be used to assist businesses that create new jobs in Montana. This program provides two types of funding:

Category I: Can provide grant or loan funding to local or tribal governments that can use funds to assist a business with the purchase of land, building or equipment, lease rate reduction for lease of public or privately owned real property for the direct use of the assisted business, relocations costs incurred in connection with moving the assisted business's physical assets to Montana, or employee training. Business may apply for up to $5,000 for each eligible new job created; or up to $7,500 for each eligible new job created in a high-poverty county. Eligible businesses must meet the definition of a Basic Sector Company, and eligible jobs must meet program requirements for hours worked and pay thresholds.

Category II: Can provide grant funding to assist with the completion of project development activities such as Preliminary Engineering Reports, Preliminary Architectural Reports, feasibility studies and business plans.

Please see the program website for additional information: www.bstf.mt.gov.

Primary Sector Workforce Training Program

The Montana Department of Commerce manages a state funded workforce training program. Eligible businesses must meet the definition of a Primary Sector Business. The financial match for the business is one dollar of private funds for every three dollars of Primary Sector Workforce Training funds applied for. Businesses may apply for up to $5,000 per new job created for documented training expenses. Businesses must meet minimums for number of hours worked, and thresholds for employee compensation. Businesses can apply directly to the Montana Department of Commerce for this program. The application needs to include financial information, business plan, and a detailed hiring and training plan.

For more information on this program, please see the website at: www.wtg.mt.gov.

Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development Program

The Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development Program assist local governments address their greatest economic development needs. The program receives an annual allocation of funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The goal of the program is to provide jobs to qualified low and moderate-income persons. Ineligible communities to apply for this program are Missoula, Great Falls, and Billings. Eligible communities may apply for up to $400,000 per program year. The Community Development Block Grant – Economic Development Program provides grant and loan financing for the following types of activities:

Planning Grants:

Local governments may apply for up to $25,000 for a variety of planning and technical assistance activities related to economic or business development including community needs assessments, downtown revitalization studies, feasibility studies, Preliminary Architectural Reports, and Preliminary Engineering Reports.

Customized Employee Training:

Applications may include requests for assistance with workforce training for new and/or existing employees. Requests may be for eligible expenses up to $5,000 per employee, or up to $7,500 for the training of people with disabilities. Minimum compensation thresholds must be met for wages and benefits.

Economic Development Projects:

Local governments may apply for up to $25,000 per created or retained job for a business that is either hiring additional employees, or is in the position of retaining employees to maintain operations. Depending on whether the business is non-profit or for-profit, it may receive a grant or low interest loan for working capital, equipment purchases, infrastructure improvements, constructions costs, or other eligible business expenses. Businesses must submit financials, business plans, hiring plans, and other required documents, and provide a financial match.

For additional information on this program please review this website: http://cdbged.mt.gov.

Montana Wood Products Revolving Loan Fund

The Montana Wood Products Revolving Loan Funds is a state and federally funded program comprised of two pools of funds available for assistance to wood and timber related businesses, the EDA Wood Products Revolving Loan Fund, and the State Wood Products Revolving Loan Fund. Eligible businesses may apply for up to $20,000 per job created or retained. Businesses are required to make a matching financial contribution to their proposals. Funds are available depending on the amount of loan repayments received each year.

For more information on these programs, see this website http://recovery.mt.gov/commerce/wipirs.

Indian Country Economic Development Program

The Indian Country Economic Development Program is a state funded program to provide economic development funding to the eight tribal governments in Montana to address their greatest economic development needs. Tribal governments apply directly to the Montana Department of Commerce for a maximum of $70,000 per program year. Eligible activities may include business development projects, workforce training projects, economic development studies, or other economic development-related projects. Tribes must provide financial match for their proposals and application deadlines do apply.

Please see this website for additional information: http://iced.mt.gov.

Board of Research & Commercialization Technology

The Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology was created by the 1999 Montana Legislature to provide a predictable and stable source of funding for research and commercialization projects to be conducted at research and commercialization centers in Montana. The purpose of the program is to encourage economic development through investment in research projects that have a clear path to commercialization.

The Board takes the following criteria into account when making funding decisions:

  1. Has potential to diversify or add value to a traditional basic industry of the state's economy,
  2. Shows promise for enhancing technology-based sectors or commercial development of discoveries,
  3. Employs or takes advantage of existing research and commercialization strengths,
  4. Has a realistic and achievable project design,
  5. Employs an innovative technology,
  6. Is located in the state,
  7. Has a qualified research team,
  8. Has scientific merit based on peer review, and
  9. Includes research opportunities for students.

For more information on this program, please visit this website: http://businessresources.mt.gov/MBRCT.

Microbusiness Development Corporations

The Montana Department of Commerce works with seven Microbusiness Development Corporations around the state that can provide loan financing to microbusinesses. Loans can be made for up to $100,000 to qualified Montana microbusinesses. A qualified microbusiness has 10 or fewer employees, and gross annual revenue of less than $1,000,000. Microbusiness Development Corporations can provide capital to businesses, in addition to training and technical assistance. To see the map of Microbusiness Development Corporations in your area and further information on this program, see this website: http://businessresources.mt.gov/MBFP.

Certified Regional Development Corporations

Certified Regional Development Corporations provide revolving loan funds to businesses in their regions. There are 11 Certified Regional Development Corporations in Montana that provide financing, technical assistance, training, application assistance, and other services to the communities in their counties. The Montana Department of Commerce provides financial support to these corporations to facilitate economic development across Montana. Revolving loan funds are designed to assist new and/or expanding businesses create jobs. Please visit the website to find the Certified Regional Development Corporation for your area: http://businessresources.mt.gov/crdc.