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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.9 Million in CARES Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Montana Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.9 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to 10 EDA Economic Development District organizations across Montana to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump Administration is eager to allocate these essential CARES Act funds and deliver on our promise to help American communities recover from the impact of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I am proud of the perseverance and strength shown by our communities coast to coast throughout this pandemic, and these funds will help provide Montana with resources to make a swift and lasting economic comeback.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Montana’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “We are pleased to make these investments in Montana’s EDA Economic Development Districts to help them prevent, prepare, and respond to coronavirus.”

“Montana’s small businesses keep our main streets vibrant and are the key towards economic recovery as we weather through COVID-19,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “Our state is grateful for this additional assistance that will help to enhance our efforts to ensure that our mom and pop shops can rebound and thrive.”

“Montana’s Economic Development Districts are critical resources as communities begin rebuilding following the coronavirus outbreak,” said Senator Jon Tester. “I fought to secure these funds in the CARES Act to help local economic development agencies lend a hand to small businesses and support our economic recovery, and to help get folks back to work safely as we continue to confront this crisis together.”

“This funding is critical to supporting jobs and helping Montana communities get through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Steve Daines. “I’m honored to have worked with the Administration to secure this funding to support our local economy.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development Area, Joliet, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to businesses and communities in their region.
  • Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana, Havre, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by helping local governments rehabilitate infrastructure; strengthening the regional food system supply chain; and promoting remote work opportunities for both employers and employees.
  • Great Northern Development Corporation, Wolf Point, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff to provide technical assistance and disaster relief best practices to support economic recovery in northeast Montana.
  • Headwaters Resource Conservation & Development Area, Butte, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by delivering much-needed support, planning and assistance to the vibrant communities of Southwestern Montana.
  • Montana Business Assistance Connection, Helena, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring additional staff that will focus on providing technical assistance to spur business recovery, support workforce needs, and boost the region’s critical tourism sector.
  • North Central Montana Economic Development District (dba Sweetgrass Development), Great Falls, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by increasing community capacity and technological capabilities, and providing business sustainability and community development assistance. Efforts will also include resilience planning at the local level to assist in mitigating future challenges.
  • Northern Rocky Mountain Economic Development District, Bozeman, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by hiring a recovery coordinator and a data analyst to coordinate work among recovery response teams serving the region’s economic development, tourism, health, and other sectors.
  • Snowy Mountain Development Corporation, Lewistown, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by increasing staff and technology to provide technical assistance to businesses, entrepreneurs, and local governments in addressing disaster recovery and resiliency efforts throughout central Montana.
  • Southeastern Montana Development Corporation, Colstrip, Montana, will receive a $400,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting proactive planning for small businesses and local governments to help minimize future economic and natural disaster impacts.
  • Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation, Sidney, Montana, will receive a $300,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing technical assistance to businesses and communities in the region.

These entities, all EDA-designated Economic Development Districts (EDD), are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA EDD, University Center, Tribal, and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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