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Governor Bullock Announces Grants to Grow Businesses, Create 46 New Jobs across Montana

Tuesday, October 4, 2016/Categories: Governor's Office/Tags:

HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock announced today $387,845 in grants to help businesses in 10 Montana communities create 46 new jobs and plan for future expansions.

Montana’s economy is strong and we are seeing great opportunities for businesses to grow and expand all across the state,” said Governor Bullock. “Continued investment in our growing economy helps businesses in communities across Montana to create more jobs, train new employees, and grow business under the Big Sky.

The funds are being awarded through the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) and Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant (WTG) programs.

Hamilton is one of the 10 communities where BSTF and WTG funds are growing the economy through area businesses.

Totem BioSciences, LLC, received a $24,840 BSTF Planning grant through Ravalli County Economic Development Authority to assist with a product development plan.

Totem BioSciences develops innovative products for research scientists, veterinarians and the livestock industry. The company has been in business for 32 months and, pending successful operations, it may become a significant job creator for Ravalli County.

The product development plan will help to move Totem BioSciences’ new drug for the treatment of bovine scours toward commercialization. As a leading cause of financial loss to U.S. cow/calf producers, scours is a syndrome affecting young calves.

Full List of Grant Recipients:

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

The BSTF program provides state funds to promote long-term stable economic growth in Montana. More information can be found at www.bstf.mt.gov.

The City of Shelby received $118,800 of BSTF Job Creation funds to assist Humic Growth Solutions, Inc. to expand, which will allow the company to create 18 new jobs in Toole County. The BSTF funds will be used for equipment purchases. Humic Growth Solutions, Inc., a leading global manufacturer and distributor of humic and fluvic acid products, will open a facility in Shelby.

Ravalli County Economic Development Authority received $24,840 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Totem BioSciences, LLC with a product development plan. Totem BioSciences, LLC is a startup biotech company in Hamilton and focuses on animal health medicines.

Montana Business Assistance Connection received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist the City of Helena with a master plan for the Civic Center. The Civic Center, which was constructed in 1920 as the Shrine Temple, is currently owned and operated by the city. The center houses two major facilities, including a 1,925-seat auditorium theater and a 15,000-square foot ballroom/exhibit hall. The master plan will be a document that the center and the city can use to help attract new types of art and entertainment for the region.

Montana Business Assistance Connection received $37,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Avalanche Irrigation District with the completion of a draft environmental assessment, which is an integral component of being able to obtain a water contract from the Bureau of Reclamation. Avalanche Irrigation District will eventually design and construct an irrigation system on land immediately east of Canyon Ferry Lake. The project, once constructed, will have a significant economic development impact to the dry region of Broadwater County.

Little Shell Tribe received $7,580 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Little Shell Tribal Enterprises, LLC with a due diligence report associated with the purchase of the travertine quarry near Gardiner.

Snowy Mountain Development Corporation of Lewistown received $27,000 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Montana Preservation Alliance with the development of a preliminary architectural report for the Broadway building in Lewistown. Montana Preservation Alliance was formed to save and protect Montana’s historic places, traditional landscapes and cultural heritage. In 2015, the Alliance purchased the Broadway building, which had been vacant since the mid-1980s. The report will provide reliable information for planning and decision-making on how best to save, stabilize, restore and utilize the historic structure.

Prospera Business Network of Bozeman received $5,625 of BSTF Planning funds to assist Big Sky Resort Association, Inc. with the completion of the first phase of a tourism master plan. Big Sky Resort Association, Inc. is a local nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting the Big Sky area. The goal of the tourism master plan is to develop a comprehensive strategy to make Big Sky a year-round designation and create a stronger shoulder season.

Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant (WTG)

The WTG program provides state funds to assist primary sector businesses with funds to assist with the training of net new jobs. More information can be found at www.wtg.mt.gov.

Coaster Pedicab Manufacturing, LLC of Bonner received $40,000 of WTG funds to train eight full-time employees. Coaster Pedicab Manufacturing, LLC manufactures high-end pedicabs and cargo trikes.

Bigart Ecosystems, LLC (dba Wisetail) of Bozeman received $100,000 of WTG to assist with the training of 20 new employees. Bigart Ecosystems, LLC (dba Wisetail) is a learning management software company.

More funding opportunities are still available. The deadline for submitting an application for consideration at the next Grant/Loan Review Committee meeting is Oct. 26. For more information, contact Section Manager Annmarie Robinson by phone at 406.841.2250 or by visiting www.bstf.mt.gov or www.wtg.mt.gov.

The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development markets Montana’s spectacular unspoiled nature, vibrant and charming small towns, breathtaking experiences, relaxing hospitality, and competitive business climate to promote the state as a place to visit and do business.

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