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Governor Bullock Announces $1.1 Million to Help Main Street Businesses Create Jobs, Train Employees and Plan for Growth

Tuesday, June 6, 2017/Categories: Market MT, Funds Awarded

Grain elevator in rural Montana

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced $1,124,030 in economic development grants to assist Main Street businesses across Montana with creating 116 jobs, providing workforce training and developing plans for growth and expansion.

As Montana’s strong economy continues to grow, Main Street businesses in communities across the state are adding jobs and seeking a skilled workforce to fill them,” Governor Bullock said. “These funds will help businesses plan for responsible growth and train employees for success.

The funds are being awarded through the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) and the Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant (WTG) programs at the Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism and Business Development.

BSTF provides state funds to promote long-term stable economic growth in Montana through two categories: job creation and planning. More information can be found at www.bstf.mt.gov.

WTG provides state funds to assist business with the training of new jobs. More information can be found at www.wtg.mt.gov.

Full List of Grant Recipients:

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) – Job Creation

Flathead County Economic Development Authority received $300,000 of BSTF Job Creation funds to assist ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. to expand, which will allow the company to create 40 new jobs in Flathead County. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment. ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. has created the technology to build grid-scale flow batteries in shipping containers.

Lake County received $70,400 of BSTF Job Creation funds to assist Hot Woods LLC to expand, which will allow the company to create 11 new jobs in Lake County. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment and construction materials and for wage reimbursement. Hot Woods, LLC manufacturers thermally modified wood products, including wood for musical instruments, flooring, pool cues and gunstock blanks. 

Missoula County received $416,000 of BSTF Job Creation funds to assist Project Spokane, LLC to expand, which will allow the company to create 65 new jobs in Bonner. The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, machinery, furniture and software and for wage reimbursement. Project Spokane, LLC is a data center that provides blockchain security services for the bitcoin network.

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) – Planning

Missoula Economic Partnership received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Green Diamond Tire - North American, Inc. with the completion of a business plan and feasibility study as it furthers its interest in relocating to Montana. The business has production rights to manufacture the proprietary Green Diamond Tire product line, which includes vehicular tires.

Missoula Economic Partnership received $12,150 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Modern Entrepreneur, LLC with the completion of a virtual curriculum program plan to assist the business in understanding market demand, positioning and sales cycle for selling to various markets.

Lake County Community Development Corporation received $26,460 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Ronan Telephone Company dba Access Montana with the completion of a feasibility study. Ronan Telephone Company, which is based in Ronan, is a locally owned rural telecommunications provider for the area.

Lake County Community Development Corporation received $51,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Tire Depot, Inc. with the completion of a feasibility study. Tire Depot, which is located in Pablo, is a Montana-based corporation that has been in business for over 25 years and currently is one of only two tire disposal companies in the Inland northwest with a tire-shedding operation.

Lake County Community Development Corporation received $11,620 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center with the completion of a preliminary architectural report. Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, which is located in Ronan, is a fully functioning food processing, research and development facility.

Headwaters RC&D Area, Inc. received $10,800 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Deer Lodge Preservation, Inc. with an expanded preliminary architectural report for the abandoned Hotel Deer Lodge, which lies in the center of Deer Lodge's Main Street business and historic districts.

Montana Business Assistance Connection, Inc. received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Montana Environmental Trust Group, LLC with planning activities leading up to the submittal of a certificate of survey for the Lamping Field in East Helena. The property is located at the corner of Highway 12 and Wylie Road.

Great Northern Development Corporation received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Columbia Grains, Inc. with a feasibility study to guide the expansion of the current grain facility and pulse plant located in Plentywood.

Sweetgrass Development Corporation received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Montana Specialty Mills, LLC, which is located in Pondera County, with the completion of a feasibility study to determine the viability of the business to produce milled pulses, including peas, lentils and garbanzo beans.

Sweetgrass Development Corporation received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Columbia Grains, Inc. with the completion of a feasibility study to determine if the expansion in the Great Falls region into organic grains, pulses and derivative products is an economically viable option.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds for the completion of a technical feasibility study for the planning and engineering associated with the People's Way US-93 Multi-Use Path.

Beartooth RC&D Area, Inc. received $21,600 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Visit Billings and Laurel Aquatic Recreation Complex with a market needs assessment of their amateur sports facilities.

Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant Program

VIM & VIGR, LLC of Missoula received $15,000 of WTG funds to assist with the training of a minimum of three new jobs for Missoula County. VIM & VIGR manufactures fashionable compression socks.

ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. of Columbia Falls received $12,000 of WTG funds to assist with the training of a minimum of three new jobs for Flathead County. ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. has created the technology to build grid-scale flow batteries in shipping containers.

Hot Woods, LLC of Pablo received $15,000 of WTG funds to assist with the training of a minimum of three new jobs for Lake County. Hot-Woods, LLC manufacturers thermally modified wood products, including wood for musical instruments, flooring, pool cues and gunstock blanks.

More funding opportunities are still available. The deadline for submitting an application for consideration at the next Grant/Loan Review Committee meeting is July 9. For more information, contact Section Manager Annmarie Robinson at 406.841.2250.

 
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MONTANA OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
301 S. PARK AVE. | P.O. BOX 200533 | HELENA, MT 59620-0533 |  T: (406) 841-2870 |  F: (406) 841-2871 | TDD: (406) 841-2702