April 8, 2021

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.8 Million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance to Capitalize Revolving Loan Fund to Serve Businesses in Yellowstone County, Montana

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to Big Sky Economic Development Corporation, Billings, Montana, to capitalize and administer a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) that will provide critical gap financing to businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the eastern Montana region of Yellowstone County. This EDA grant, to be matched with $200,000 in local investment, is expected to create 40 jobs, retain 14 jobs, and generate $2 million in private investment.

“President Biden is committed to supporting small businesses as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic and build back stronger,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide much needed capital for small businesses to not only continue operations but also retain and create jobs, creating a more resilient regional economy for the future.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Big Sky Economic Development Corporation’s work assisting small businesses in eastern Montana,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This newly created Revolving Loan Fund will not only provide gap financing to existing businesses impacted by the pandemic but will also support new entrepreneurs in Yellowstone county.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has hit Montana’s economy hard, and as our businesses work hard to turn things around, this funding will be a valuable support,” said Senator Jon Tester. “These resources will help Big Sky Economic Development Corporation continue assisting Billings’ Main Street businesses as they recover, get folks in the Yellowstone County back to work, and put Montana’s economy back on the right track.”

“Montana small businesses have faced incredible challenges throughout this pandemic and stepped up to continue providing essential services to our communities,” said Senator Steve Daines. “I am pleased to announce they are receiving needed support with these grants, so they can continue to thrive.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by Beartooth Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc. which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. 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.

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.