Specialized Loans and Grants for Montana Businesses

As you start your business, it is vital to know the public funds that exist to benefit you financially.

Montana Board of Investments (MBOI)

Direct Loan Participation Program 
Fixed-rate financing up to 25 years with interest rates posted weekly Maximum participation amount is approximately $80 million (10% of Trust) 
Maximum Board participation is 80% if Board loan participation is less than 6% of Trust Maximum Board participation is 70% if Board loan participation is more than 6% of Trust 
*Job creation credits may reduce posted interest rate up to 2.5% 
Full underwriting review 
  
Guaranteed Loan Participation Program 
Fixed-rate financing up to 30 years with interest rates posted weekly Job creation credits may reduce posted interest rate up to 2.5% 
*No detailed credit review by Board 
 
Value-Added Business Loan Program Funded from the Permanent Coal Tax Trust 
Maximum 15-year loan term Jobs created/retained must be by a business adding value to materials/products 
0-9 jobs created/retained qualifies for the Board posted rate 10-14 jobs created/retained qualifies for a loan rate at 4% for five years 
15 or more jobs created/retained qualifies for a loan rate at 2% for five years 6% for the second five years 
Board posted rate for the remaining term Board participates with lender in 75% of the funding, risk, collateral, and other security 
Minimum loan size is $250,000. Maximum participation amount is approximately $8 million (1% of Trust) Full underwriting credit review 
*Total amount allocated for this program is $70 million 

Montana & Idaho CDC(Now MoFi)

Business loans range from $1,000 to $2,000,000 Term loans or lines of credit

Flexible collateral and equity requirements Stand-alone & bank-affiliated loans

Interest rates 2-3% points higher than current bank financing rates Fees include closing costs, origination fee and a $200 application fee

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF):

Eligible Applicants are:

  • incorporated city or town; a county;
  • a consolidated government; a Tribal government (including any state or federally recognized Indian tribe within the State of Montana); and public districts or local public entities with the authority to spend or receive public funds (i.e. County Port Authority or Airport Authority).

Eligible Assisted Business must:

  • basic sector company (see guidelines for definition); create at least one net new eligible job in Montana;
  • pay an average weekly wage that meets or exceeds the lesser of 170% of Montana’s current minimum wage or the current average weekly wage of the county in which the employee(s) are to be principally employed, including the value of employee benefits; and
  • *demonstrate that the business expansion is financially feasible.
*Note: If employee benefits are to be included in the calculation for the BSTF required wage rate, the assisted business will be required to certify that they benefits meet the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

Limits and Match Required

The location of the project will determine the maximum funding level and match requirements:
  • Businesses located in a high-poverty county
    • The maximum grant or loan award is up to $7,500 for each eligible new job created Match required is $1 for every $2 awarded (1:2)
  • Businesses located in a non-poverty county
    • The maximum grant or loan award is up to $5,000 for each eligible new job created Match required is $1 for every $1 awarded (1:1)

Missoula City/County

Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIF)/Targeted Economic Development Districts (TEDD)

  • Awards/grants vary
  • Supports blighted areas.
  • Costs covered:
    • Acquiring land
    • Demolition and removal of structures
    • Relocation of occupants
    • Public infrastructure (everything but the building) including sidewalks, curbs, pedestrian malls, sewers, etc.).
    • Some administrative costs in Urban Renewal areas
    • More... call 406-258-4763

 

Missoula Job Service- Incumbent Worker Training (IWT)

Qualifying Businesses

In operation in Montana at least one year No more than 50 employees statewide

Must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State’s Office as a(n): Association, Corporation, LLC, Partnership, or Sole Proprietor. Some exceptions apply Have a need to upgrade skills of their employees to remain competitive in their industry or the economy Can meet the match requirements

Match Requirements

IWT requires the applicant to match grant dollars:
  • 20% of training costs; 20% of in-state transportation and lodging required to attend the training; and
  • *50% of out-of-state transportation and lodging required to attend the training
  • Any 20% match may be met in kind using wages paid while in training and travel status, except for sole proprietors.
Website:http://wsd.dli.mt.gov/employers/incumbent-worker-training-program

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP)

  • For international export/selling
  • Must be made and manufactured in Montana
  • Must determine that the value of the product or service is based in Montana
  • Don't have to be exporting yet, just must demonstrate through export plan in application
  • Programs (grants):
    • Must be International Trade Shows
      • Award: $8,000 maximum
        50% matching reimbursement- you spend $8k, they spend $8k
      • Booth Production for the Trade Show
      • Can apply 2x/year
    • Foreign Language Translation Services for Marketing Materials
      • Award: $3,000 maximum
        50% matching reimbursement- you spend $3k, they spend $3k
      • Physical marketing materials or interpreter
      • Can apply 2x/year
    • US Commercial Service Activities (International Market Research)
      • US Export Center- Carey.hester@trade.gov
      • Gives funds for fees associated with US Commercial Service programs (including Key Service)
      • $1,200 maximum
        75% reimbursement- you spend $900, they spend $1,200
    • Travel Stipend
      • Outside North America- $1200
      • Mexico- $800
      • US- $500

Made in Montana

  • Made in Montana Trade Show Exhibition
  • Trade Show Assistance Program Grant (Currently Unavailable due to COVID-19)
    • $3,000 maximum
    • 50% reimbursement- you spend $3k, they spend $3k
    • Selling within the US
    • Qualified expenses:
      • Booth space rental/Gold Key fee
      • Booth equipment, furniture, carpeting rental
      • Booth utility costs
      • Promotional materials
      • Shipping, storage, drayage (cost of moving freight) and show labor

Small Business Innovative Research/Small Business Technology Transfer
(SBIR and SBTT)

Contact: Tech Link or Montana Department of Commerce

  • Three phase program that helps solicit funds (grants and contracts) for projects from agencies like DOE, NIH, DOD, etc. that include innovtion, research, and a commercial application. To land a grant, you must not have already created a product- your idea must require research first.
    •  Phase 1- Feasibility Study
      • $100-150k
      • 6 months
    • Phase 2- Proof of Principal/Prototype
      • Up to $1M
      • 24 months
      Phase 3- Commericialization
      • No SBIR/STTR Funding

Small Business Association

Export Express Loan

  • $350,000 loan from an approved bank with 90% guaranty from the SBA
  • $500,000 with 75% guarantee
  • Eligibility/Entering or expanding into a foreign market
  • Use of proceeds:
    • Export Developed
    • Export transactions (orders)
    • Issuance of standby letters of credit
    • Fixed assets
  • Must work through an SBA Approved lender: Bank of Montana

More SBA Exporting: https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/exporting 

Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im)

CALine (Working Capital Line of Credit)

  • Loan guarantee for 75% of higher amounts up to $5,000,000
  • May use the lines to provide credit terms to customers and finance inventory

EWCP (Export Working Capital)

  • 90% Guarantee on loans/lines of credit up to $5M
  • Small businesses that need grater sales
  • Single or multiple transactions

Express Credit Insurance

  • Ex-Im bank does this under the express credit Insurance policy for up to 20 buyers
  • Geared for small business exporters