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Planning Projects

Grants and Loans to Montana Agencies and Development
Organizations for Planning Activities Related to Economic Growth

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Montana Department of Commerce - Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF)

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Grants and loans of up to $25,000 to Montana local and tribal governments, regional development corporations, and local development organizations to support stable and long-term economic growth within the state. Funding may be requested for planning activities related to economic development.

The highest priority of the BSTF Planning Program are projects that support a critical activity to move forward an Economic Development project resulting in job creation projects and that directly assist a basic sector company.

Eligible uses of planning grant funds include funding for the reimbursement of the following expenses:

a. Support for business improvement districts and central business district re-development;
b. Industrial development;
c. Feasibility studies;
d. Creation and maintenance of baseline community profiles;
e. Matching funds for federal funds;
f. Preproduction costs for film or media; and
f. Administrative expenses, including personnel and operating expenses are allowable expenses for which the BSTF fund may be used, but should not exceed 8% (to a maximum of $2,000) or $750, whichever is greater, of the total award unless otherwise specified by the Department.

Statement of Purpose:

The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) program is a state-funded program created by the 2005 Legislature. The program’s legislative purpose (Section 90-1-202, MCA) is to assist in economic development for Montana that will:

-Create good-paying jobs for Montana residents;
-Promote long-term, stable economic growth in Montana;
-Encourage local economic development organizations;
-Create partnerships between the state, local governments, tribal governments, and local economic development organizations that are interested in pursuing these same economic development goals;
-Retain or expand existing businesses;
-Provide a better life for future generations through greater economic growth and prosperity in Montana;
-Encourage workforce development, including workforce training and job creation, in High-Poverty Counties by providing targeted assistance; and
-Manufacturing ammunition components is a qualified economic development purpose.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182220

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $25,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include: Certified Regional Development Corporations (CRDCs) for projects within their regions, local governments and Tribal governments for projects within their regions, (Local or Tribal governments must provide a resolution supporting the project or an official letter from the Tribal Chair or President authorizing the application to the program), and Local Development Organizations (LDOs) located in counties not part of a CRDC region. LDOs must meet program requirements for eligibility.

Ineligible uses of funds includes the following:

a. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) that are required by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The Montana Department of Commerce provides funds for this activity through its Certified Regional Development Program;

b. Ongoing operating expenses;

c. Generally, costs incurred prior to the BSTF funding award date; or

d. A project that would result in the transfer or relocation of jobs from one part of the state to another part of the state.

Pre-Application Information:

It is encouraged that applicants provide match to BSTF dollars requested. Match should be new, unexpended cash funds available at the time of application that will be invested in the final deliverable by the CRDC, Tribal government, the assisted business and/or other involved organizations within the contract period. In general, the Department will award up to $1 for every $1 in documented matching funds.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Department to discuss their proposed project with BSTF program staff.

Applications are accepted on an open-cycle basis until all available funds are committed to approved projects.

The FY 18 Applications Deadlines for Planning Projects are as follows: October 9, 2017; January 9, 2018 and April 9, 2018 or until all funds have been obligated.

Planning Grant Information:

Application Forms and Instructions:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Annmarie Robinson, Section Manager
(406) 841-2250

Alyssa Townsend, Program Specialist
(406) 841-2748

Debi Davidson, Program Specialist
(406) 841-2792

Big Sky Trust Fund Program
301 South Park Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Montana