Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF)
Economic Development/Job Creation and Planning Projects
Applications to the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Program are accepted through the On-Line Grant Management System - FundingMT, which is located at www.fundingmt.org. Additional information about FundingMT, along with a user guide designed to help applicants navigate through the online system, is available through the Application link above.
The current online funding opportunity will close on November 23, 2014 and will be reviewed by the BSTF committee on December 17, 2014 . A new online funding opportunity will open on November 24, 2014 and remain open until January 25, 2015. Applications from this funding opportunity are scheduled to be reviewed by the BSTF committee on February 18, 2015.
The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) program is a state-funded program created by the 2005 Legislature. It is designed to aid in the development of good paying jobs for Montana residents and promote long-term stable economic growth in Montana. The BSTF program is designed to provide financial assistance in the following two categories:
Category I: Economic Development Job Creation Projects 75% of BSTF earnings shall be awarded to local and tribal governments in the form of grants or loans to assist businesses in creating net new eligible jobs that pay the lesser of 170% of Montana's current mimimum wage or the current average county wage, including the value of employee benefits. 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 the benefits meet the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Applications will be accepted on an open-cycle basis until all available funds are committed to approved projects.
Category II: Planning Projects 25% of BSTF earnings shall be awarded to Certified Regional Development Corporations (CRDC), tribal governments and other qualified economic development organizations in areas not covered by a CRDC for planning activities. To determine how your economic development organization may qualify click on this link http://www.bstf.mt.gov/content/docs/OtherEconomicOrganizations.pdf.
Applications will be accepted on an open-cycle basis until all available funds are committed to approved projects.
Please reference the application guidelines for further information on the eligible activities and requirements for funding under this program. It is highly recommended that potential applicants contact the Department directly by calling Nancy Faroni, Section Manager at (406) 841-2744 for guidance and funding availability before submitting a formal application. This is especially important due to the limited funding available statewide.