Friday, September 14, 2012 11:52:08 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, September 14, 2012
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Department of Commerce Announces Economic Development Grant Awards
(HELENA) – The Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) has awarded a total of $1,252,871 in Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund grants to various Montana organizations to promote business growth across the state.
BSTF is a state-funded program designed to promote good-paying jobs and long-term, stable economic growth in Montana. BSTF provides funding for both planning and job creation activities. BSTF job creation grants can provide grant assistance to basic sector Montana businesses, who are hiring net new positions within their company. BSTF planning funds are awarded to local Certified Regional Development Corporations (CRDC), tribal governments and local economic development agencies, to assist in planning efforts.
"Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Grants help to grow businesses, plan for future development and create jobs," said Dore Schwinden, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. "These grants work to expand Montana's economy and help local leaders to invest smartly in our communities."
Flathead County Economic Development Authority received three BSTF job creation awards, totaling $937,350, to assist the following businesses:
ZaneRay Group received a $67,350 BSTF award for equipment purchases and lease rate reduction which will enable business expansion, culminating in at least 10 net new BSTF eligible jobs. ZaneRay Group, which is located in Whitefish, is an Ecommerce consultant group. They specialize in direct-to-consumer web sites for mid to large size companies in the outdoor industry.
SmartLam, LLC received a $217,500 BSTF award for equipment purchases which will enable business expansion, culminating in at least 29 net new BSTF eligible jobs. SmartLam’s administrative offices are in Whitefish but operations are located in Columbia Falls. SmartLam manufactures a cross laminated timber product that will be used as rig mats and portable platforms to support drilling rigs and equipment used in construction for oil services industry.
Nomad Global Communication Solutions (GCS) received a $652,500 BSTF award for equipment purchases and for employee training certifications which will enable business expansion, culminating in at least 87 net new BSTF eligible jobs. Nomad GCS, which is located in Kalispell, is a leading provider of advanced interoperable communication solutions to the public and private sectors.
MDOC also awarded nine BSTF planning grants to seven different Montana entities. The planning awards include the following:
Bitterroot Economic Development District (BREDD), located in Missoula, received $17,094 of BSTF funds to complete a feasibility study for Pimlico Studios, Inc. Pimlico Studios is a start-up business that plans to build and operate a motion picture and television sound stage and production facility in Missoula. This project could result in a service that is currently unavailable in Montana and will have the potential of capturing additional film days; resulting in thousands of dollars being spent in the State during the filming of movies.
Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC), located in Wolf Point, received $21,000 of BSTF funds to assist Sand Creek Winds, LLC with the completion of a feasibility study. The feasibility study is necessary for the wind farm to be able to connect to the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) power grid. If fully developed, the wind farm, which is proposed to be located in McCone County, could have the potential to generate approximately 50 to 70 megawatts of green energy.
Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC), received $100,000 of BSTF funds to assist coalition efforts in Eastern Montana with an impact study to encompass a 16-county area that has been impacted by the recent oil and gas development in Montana. GNDC has teamed with Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation, Southeastern Montana Development Corporation and Richland County Economic Development with this project.
Prospera Business Network, located in Bozeman, received $15,750 of BSTF funds to assist the City of Livingston with a branding campaign. The Livingston Branding project will be a comprehensive, collaborative community project to develop a sustainable branding campaign for the community with the hopes of attracting travelers to visit their community.
Prospera Business Network received $57,750 of BSTF funds for the completion of a preliminary engineering report for the community of Gardiner. The overall scope of the PER will focus on making fundamental improvements in the infrastructure to address vehicular traffic congestion, parking, streets, pedestrian access/sidewalks, drainage/utilities, infrastructure, lighting and other public amenities within the community of Gardiner.
Headwaters Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area, Inc., which is located in Butte, received $8,000 of BSTF funds to assist Montana Biochar with the completion of a feasibility study. Biochar is a type of charcoal produced in the conversion of biomass or feedstock. Montana Biochar is located in Anaconda and is interested in evaluating whether biochar produced from regional biomass stocks could produce a value added project from biomass resources.
Montana Business Assistance Connections, which is located in Helena, received $44,677 of BSTF funds to assist International Biomass Group (IBMG) with the completion of an electrical preliminary engineering report. IBMG is in the process of building the first of several manufacturing plants in Montana that produce a hybrid woody biomass pellet that can either be co-fired with coal or replace coal in smaller boiler facilities.
Chippewa Cree Tribe received $26,250 of BSTF funds for the completion of a preliminary engineering report for the Middle Dry Fork area. The Middle Dry Fork area has been designed as a tribal development area for future community buildings, including the new tribal clinic.
Fort Belknap Indian Community Council received $25,000 of BSTF funds for the completion of a comprehensive appraisal of the paleontological and archeological resources on the Milk River Ranch, which is located 25 miles north of Gildford in Hill County.
For additional information about BSTF, visit www.bstf.mt.gov.