The Roundup -

New Economic Data to Change Job Creation Grant Eligibility Jan. 1


HELENA – The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF), a state grant program to help Montana businesses create good-paying jobs, has updated its 2016 eligibility guidelines based on new economic data from the Department of Labor and Industry.

The 2014 average weekly wage data and poverty maps, which will be used to determine eligibility for the program starting Jan. 1, are now available for review at the BSTF website, Applications under the 2013 data will continue to be accepted through Dec. 31.

In order to qualify for BSTF financial assistance, a business must create a net new job that pays an average weekly wage that meets or exceeds the lesser of 170 percent of Montana’s current minimum wage or the current average weekly wage. For 2016, Montana minimum wage will remain unchanged at $8.05 per hour.

Additionally, BSTF allows for a higher award amount per job and a lower match requirement for counties that are located in a designated high-poverty county. A “high-poverty county” means a county in which 14 percent or more of the people of all ages are in poverty as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau estimates for the most current year available.

Also starting Jan. 1, the BSTF program will be transitioning to an online application system at Businesses already registered with the BSTF program will not need to register again.

For additional information, please contact the BSTF Program at 406.841.2250.

The Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development markets Montana’s spectacular unspoiled nature, vibrant and charming small towns, breathtaking experiences, relaxing hospitality, and competitive business climate to promote the state as a place to visit and do business.


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