Incentives

There are numerous resources to support new & expanding business in Montana. Listed are some of the most often utilized resources. Connect with the experts at Montana West Economic Development to guide you to the resources that fit your idea and your business.

Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund

-Provided by Montana Department of Commerce-

  • Can be used for equipment, land and building, lease reductions and relocation costs of physical assets for move to Montana
  • Montana West is responsible for submitting the applications on behalf of local business
  • Must be a basic sector or value-adding company
  • Applications accepted at any time
  • Up to $50,000 is available per project
  • For every $4750 awarded the business must create one new position; certain wage requirements apply
  • Match requirement of one dollar for every two dollars of grant funds

  • A grant for planning activities such as business plans, feasibility studies, preliminary architectural reports (PARs), and preliminary engineering reports (PERs)
  • Applications will be accepted on a quarterly basis
  • A business must be considered value-added and demonstrate future job creation
  • Up to $25,000 is available per project
  • Match requirement of one dollar for every one dollar of grant funds

  • Up to $5,000 may be awarded to an eligible project for each new eligible job to be created.
  • Funds may be used for relocation costs from outside of the state to Montana.
  • Eligible jobs must be new positions that average 35 hours/ week and meet certain wage requirements.
  • Statutory requirements for these funds include net new, full-time job creation and a $1 for $2 match requirement.
  • Montana West is responsible for submitting applications on behalf of local business.
  • Contact Montana West to discuss the application process.
  • The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) program, is a state-funded program through the Montana Department of Commerce.

Workforce Training Grant

-Provided by the Montana Department of Commerce-

The Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant (WTG) encourages the creation of jobs in primary sector businesses. Primary sector businesses are generally defined as those having 50% or more of their sales outside Montana. This funding provides an essential job training incentive for new businesses to locate in Montana and provides existing primary sector businesses with essential support to train employees in new jobs that allow the businesses to expand in Montana.

A primary sector business creating jobs in Montana is eligible for up to $5,000 for each net new full-time job created and $2,500 for each net new part-time job created that pays at least 170% of the state minimum wage. Training funds are not provided to the awarded applicant business until the jobs have been created at the qualifying wage and eligible expenses have been incurred. Applicants must provide $1 of match for every $3 of grant funds.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on an open-cycle basis until all available funds are committed to approved projects. Montana West Economic Development will assist you with your application. For more information and the application, visit the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development website.

TAX CREDITS, ABATEMENTS & EXEMPTIONS

Property tax abatement is available to new or expanding  manufacturing businesses.

  • The governing body of the affected county or the incorporated city or town must approve by resolution the abatement.
  • The tax benefit received is a percentage multiplier applied to the increase in taxable value of the qualifying improvements or modernized processes.
  • The tax benefit applies to the number of mills levied and assessed for high school district and elementary school district purposes and to the number of mills levied and assessed by the local governing body approving the benefit.
  • New/expanding industries will be taxed at 50% of taxable value for the first five years after a construction permit is issued.
  • The tax rate is raised incrementally over the next five years to 100%.

Personal property, is eligible for a reduced taxable valuation rate of 3% (normally 3.01% for property) for the first three years of operation.

The Existing (Incumbent) Worker Training is a competitive grant program to help eligible Montana small businesses purchase training for their existing (incumbent) workers. The grants also help preserve existing jobs for Montana residents. Click here to learn more. To access the online applications visit: Montana Grants and Loans.
Several tax credits apply to businesses hiring new workers. Contact the Flathead Job Service to learn more about tax credits and other resources to help hire employees.

Additional Resources

Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts are geographical districts created by cities to assist with infrastructure development or improvements. Tax Increment Financing generated through Urban Renewal Districts provide:

  • City-made lower interest loans for on-site infrastructure needs, landscaping, parking, site readiness and other activities as defined within the district’s plan
  • Public construction of off-site infrastructure needs when it benefits the community
  • Current TIF districts exist in Whitefish and Kalispell.
Montana West offers business loans when a gap in equity exists for start-up and business expansion projects to support job creation and retention (see Business Loans page).

  • 5 to 15 year amortization based on useful life of the financed assets
  • Fixed rate financing
  • Adequate collateral and cash flow coverage required
  • Minimal closing costs
Visit the Montana Department of Agriculture website for additional information.

Maximum grant amount is $50,000 / Maximum loan amount is $100,000

  • Must add value to Montana’s agricultural products.
  • Has the capacity for commercial success given current personnel, experience and resources of the applicant
  • Has the capacity to create and/or retain jobs in Montana
Get more information on the Montana Board of Investments website.

  • Maximum 15-year loan term
  • 10-14 jobs created/retained qualifies for a loan rate at 4% for 5 years
  • 15 jobs created/retained qualifies for a loan rate at 2% for five years, 10 – 14 jobs qualifies for 4%
  • Interest rate set at 6% for 2nd 5 years, the Board posted rate at the time of application for the remaining term
  • Minimum loan size $250,000-maximum loan size approximately $7.5 million
  • Must be a basic sector or value-adding company
  • Full credit review using Board underwriting policy
Get more information on the Montana CDC website.  www.mtcdc.org

New Market Tax Credit financing is a mechanism to provide an incentive for private sector investment into economic development projects and businesses located in low-income communities. A project needs to meet $4 million in investment or more to qualify. Tax credits are sold to investors to create a subsidy to spur the development. Projects must be located within a qualified Census Tract usually characterized by poverty greater than 20% or an area’s median income that is 80% or less than state median income.

Get more information at the Frontier Angel Fund website.

The Frontier Angel Fund is a group of accredited investors dedicated to providing equity capital for early and mid-stage entrepreneurial companies. The Frontier Angels review deals as a group and then vote to invest their pooled capital. The typical group investment is in the range of $100,000 to $200,000.

  • Company must be headquartered or do a substantial portion of their business in Montana or the Inland Pacific Northwest
  • Prospective investments should be operating in a market sufficiently large to create a business with a minimum of $30 million in annual revenues within five years with a clear path to profitability.
  • Funding need should not exceed $1 million
  • Pre-money valuation of startup companies must not exceed $4 million
  • Management should be experienced in building significant, successful companies, although the management team need not be complete
  • Companies may be early stage, but should have a product and sales
  • Company should have a well-articulated strategy to capture and defend a significant market share