HELENA, Mont. – July started a new fiscal year for the State of Montana, and with it a new cycle of funding for tourism and business development grants aimed at strengthening Montana’s economy through business growth and job creation.
“Grant programs play an important role in economic development by providing businesses with additional resources to succeed, which in turn means greater prosperity for all Montanans,” Department of Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote said. “Commerce has programs available year-round, but the new fiscal year is always a great time to get started on applications.”
Six programs started a new funding and application cycle on July 1: The Tribal Business Planning Grant, Tourism Grant Program, Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant, Montana SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program, Indian Equity Small Business Grant and Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund.
Deadlines, eligibility and requirements vary by program.
Tribal Business Planning Grant
The Tribal Business Planning Grants assists tribal governments in deploying comprehensive business planning strategies and activities.
Tourism Grant Program
The Tourism Grant Program awards funds to projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism and recreation industry. General categories include arts/culture/heritage preservation, visitor facility upgrades/construction and niche product development.
Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant
The Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant provides a financial incentive for new or expanding businesses to create jobs in Montana by awarding funds to train the new jobs.
Montana SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program
The SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program assists technology-based Montana companies by providing additional funding that can be used for technology development or other uses during the time that the company is working on a Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) project with a federal agency. This additional funding increases the likelihood that technology-based Montana companies will be able to develop products and services that can be successfully marketed.
Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant
The Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant assists startup or expanding Native American businesses in Montana. This money can be used for a variety of activities such as the purchase of new equipment or the development of a new product line.
Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund
The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund promotes long-term stable economic growth in Montana. Job Creation grants award funds based on the number of jobs a project creates and may be used for expenses such as equipment purchases and wage reimbursement. Planning grants award funds for business growth activities such as feasibility studies and preliminary architectural reports.