The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (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.
Please reference the guidelines for further information on the program. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted or December 31, 2020, whichever comes first.
The Workforce Recovery program is in direct response to the need to support Montana businesses impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The ability to create the temporary program has been made possible by a governor’s directive which allows for flexibility in the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund program. Funding for the temporary program comes from reverted BSTF Job Creation awards, it does not represent a replacement for or pausing of the well-established business development program.
- Montana-based for-profit businesses apply directly to the Department of Commerce.
- The program will reimburse the wages of the rehired job.
- Job must be a full-time, permanent job;
- Employee in the job must be making at least the Montana minimum wage;
- Employee in the job must be working and living within the State of Montana;
- Employee in the job must have been employed in the job for at least six months.
Limits and Match Requirements
- The funding level will be determined based on the location of the business’ primary operations and the number of full-time jobs to be rehired up to a maximum of 25 full-time jobs.
- A county that has a poverty rate greater than the Montana’s average poverty rate will receive $7,500 per job and will be required to provide $3,750 of match. (I.e. the employee must have made a cumulative wage of $11,250);
- A county that has a poverty rate below the Montana’s average poverty rate will receive $5,000 per job and will be required to provide $5,000 of match. (i.e. the employee must have made a cumulative wage of $10,000);
- The award will be based on the difference in the full-time employment level between February 14, 2020 and when the application was submitted.
The business may request up to 10% of the award amount once the contract is executed. However, if they are unable to re-establish the number of jobs to cover the advancement of funds, the business will have to repay the Department the difference between the advancement and the actual number of jobs rehired and maintained for six months.