2013 Applications and Guidelines now available. Applications currently being accepted.
Regional Development Bureau All Program Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement
The Business Resources category of Montana's Community Development Block Grant Economic Development (CDBG-ED) Program is designed to stimulate economic development activity by assisting Montana's private sector to create or retain jobs for low and moderate income (LMI) persons. The program assists businesses by making fixed-rate financing available to them at reasonable interest rates and by providing public improvements in support of economic development activities. CDBG-ED provides flexibility in interest rates and loan terms to complement conventional business financing and other State and Federal business financing programs. CDBG-ED funding can provide payment deferments, lower payments in the first year, and interest-only payments. CDBG-ED funds are intended to be used in situations where a funding gap exists and alternative sources of public and private financing are not adequate.
The Director of the Montana Department of Commerce has the discretion to allocate funds from either CDBG program to any CDBG eligible activity.
- Loans to Businesses: Activities include loans to businesses for acquisition, construction, installation, or rehabilitation of commercial and industrial buildings, facilities, equipment, or working capital.
- Customized Employee Training: Employee training is a stand-alone project activity allowing up to a maximum of $400,000 in grant funding per local government in a program year for new and expanding businesses creating additional jobs. The intent is to assist businesses in providing needed skills and better-paying jobs for their workers. The goal is to facilitate the growth of companies in Montana, increase wages for trained workers, increase employee productivity, and assist in the skill development of employees. Preference is given to training that focuses on developing transferable skills in emerging industries such as information and advanced technology, health services, value-added agriculture and communications. Funding may also be distributed to a qualified educational or nonprofit training entity that provides job training targeted to developing specific employee skills needed by an aggregate of companies. The maximum grant amount to a for-profit business or non-profit organization for each employee trained is $5,000.
- Technical Assistance Grants: A maximum of $25,000 per local government may be requested to be used for a variety of planning activities, including the initial planning necessary to develop a CDBG-ED project, prepare a growth policy, economic development strategy, or other planning documents.
- Business Infrastructure Projects: CDBG-ED funds may be used to build infrastructure such as water, sewer, streets or sidewalks in support of businesses. The businesses must be identified at the time the application is submitted. Applications that propose public improvements as assistance to businesses will be reviewed with similar procedures as for loans to for-profit businesses and must include a complete business plan, financial package and hiring and training plan for each business being assisted, must meet the same threshold requirements, demonstrate viability, and meet all other appropriate requirements contained in the Application Guidelines for the Community Development Block Grant - Economic Development Program.
CDBG-ED funds are limited to Montana's local governments (towns, cities, and counties) with the exception of Billings, Great Falls and Missoula, which receive their own CDBG entitlement funds annually.
Indian tribes are ineligible to apply as tribes receive funds directly from an Indian CDBG Program.
Businesses must work with their local government to apply for CDBG-ED funds on their behalf.
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis as long as funding is available for each program year. The maximum amount available to each community is $400,000. The maximum amount available to consolidated governments is $800,000. Up to 8% of the total CDBG-ED funding is allowed for local government administrative expenses, with not less than 92% committed to the project. Businesses relocating to a new Montana community must make prior commitments to move their facility or operations three months before the application is submitted. The Department will accept a full application based primarily on a favorable preliminary review of the business plan and financial statements of the business. Department staff and a loan review committee review project applications and make recommendations to the Depertment Director, who then makes a final award determination.
Grantees and businesses should be aware that it will take at least two or more months after a tentative award of funds has been issued before the business will actually receive any CDBG-ED funds. Grantees and businesses are required to meet specific conditions before a release of CDBG-ED funds is granted.
- Maximum of $25,000 CDBG-ED funds per job
- Maximum of $5,000 CDBG-ED funds per employee for employee training
- Minimum of 51% jobs to benefit LMI persons
- Minimum of 1:1 matching funds
- Two public hearings
- Detailed business plan
- Most recent 3 years' actuals and 3 years projected financial statements
- Hiring and training plan
- Project budget with proposed "sources & uses"
- General community promotion
- Assistance to professional sports teams
- Assistance to privately-owned recreational facilities
- Acquisition of land with no specific proposed use
CDBG-ED Program staff maintains copies of application guidelines and other materials designed to aid application preparation. Sample program income plans, Program Income/RLF Manual, and other documents are available. Application guidelines and many other program materials can be downloaded from this site or are available via email, computer diskette, cd, or hard copy. Please contact the CDBG-ED Program Manager for assistance.
The interest rate for the 2011 CDBG-ED Program generally is 2%. Security positions are negotiated and can be subordinate to other lenders. Loan terms will be set based on uses of funds and cash flow projections. Limited deferrals of payments are possible depending on cash flow needs. Application and/or loan processing fees are not allowed.