Montana Department of Commerce
Under the umbrella of the Montana Department of Commerce, its Business Resources Division comprises a variety of programs aimed at improving, enhancing and diversifying Montana’s economic and business climate. Working closely with the private sector, the Governor’s Office, other state department divisions and agencies, state economic and community development partners, state agencies and federal and private programs, the division strives to enhance the economic base of Montana through business creation, expansion and retention efforts.
This division has three major areas:
- Workforce Training Grants
Available to businesses with personnel training needs. WTG grants may be combined with other grants for maximum business support and expansion.
- Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF)
Job Creation Grants — Eligible applicants are tribal and local governments to support job creation on behalf of businesses in their city, county or reservation.
Planning Grants — Eligible applicants are CRDCs, tribal governments and eligible economic development organizations to assist businesses with business-related studies.
- Indian Country Economic Development Grants
Eligible applicants are Montana Indian tribes with planning, tribal business development projects, workforce training or other economic development projects.
- Community Development Block Grant — Economic Development (CDBG-ED)
Eligible applicants are local governments on behalf of any business in their city or county looking to create or retain jobs, that need economic development financing or need planning grants for business-related studies.
- Montana Technology Innovation Partnership Grants
Grants to promote technology commercialization and small technology firms.
- Research and Commercialization
Grants for research and commercialization projects to be conducted at research and commercialization centers in Montana, with likelihood of commercialization.
- MicroBusiness Finance Program
Montana-based businesses with 10 or fewer employees and a gross annual revenue of less than $1 million can apply for a microbusiness loan of up to $100,000.
- Wood Products Revolving Loan Fund
The Montana Distressed Wood Products Industry Recovery and Stabilization Program offers loan financing to wood- and timber-related businesses, and other Montana businesses.
- Montana State Small Business Credit Initiative Program
Loan participation financing for new and existing Montana businesses that need additional financing to expand or stabilize their businesses.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: Department programs provide technical assistance to individuals and businesses.
- Small Business Development Center
For an individual looking to start a business or expand an existing business. The SBDC also provides intensive business development programs and courses through Entrepreneur Montana.
- Small Business Innovation Research
Technical assistance also available in applying for federal research and development grants through the Montana Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
- Montana Technology Innovation Partnership
MTIP is a department initiative created to promote technology commercialization as a viable economic development strategy for Montana.
- Entrepreneur Montana
The Montana Indian Equity Fund is a program focused on developing the capacity of Indian organizations on the reservations to mentor and support Indian business owners through classroom training, workshops, counseling and lending.
- Trade & International Relations Bureau
For an individual or business interested in export trade, this bureau is a good resource that can also connect the business to many other resources for assistance.
For individuals or companies interested in using the Made in Montana logo for their product marketing, the division maintains a contract with a Montana printer to provide those logos for qualifying products.
- Export Montana
Export Montana, through the Office of Trade and International Relations, is committed to helping Montana companies pursue commercial opportunities abroad.
- Montana Business Expansion and Retention
The BEAR program pulls together local business and community leaders to form a volunteer assessment team to address local needs. Local area businesses who request the free service are visited by interviewers from the team to conduct on-site surveys of the issues and needs of their local businesses.
- Certified Regional Development Corporations
CRDCs are local development offices responsible for helping local officials, communities and businesses assess, plan and facilitate action within their regions. There are 10 CRDCs in Montana.
- State Tribal Economic Development Commission
The STEDC works with Native Americans to expand economic development opportunities on each of the seven Indian reservations in partnership with tribal governments and the federal government.
INFORMATION: Department programs provide information when searching for census data and facts, broadband coverage, and business financing and information.
- Census & Economic Information Center
CEIC is an invaluable resource for learning about and keeping up-to-date with the latest census and economic information available for Montana, its political subdivisions and its citizens.
- Montana Finance Information Center
Provides summary information for the most significant financing resources available from state, federal and local institutions. The website is organized as much as possible by source and point of application. Preference for organizational purposes is given to the actual level that provides funding to businesses and local governments.
The department also operates divisions focused on energy, housing and tourism.
Reach Commerce Director Dore Schwinden, Deputy Director Andrew Poole and other department staff by calling 406.841.2700 / TDD: 406.841.2702; fax to 406.841.2701 or send an email through the website.
Find the department online at http://commerce.mt.gov/.
The department is located in Helena at 301 S. Park Avenue.
Mailing address is P.O. Box 200501, Helena, MT 59620-0501.