Dept. of Commerce Awards Grants for Economic Growth - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Dept. of Commerce Awards Grants for Economic Growth

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MISSOULA -

The Montana Department of Commerce awards $338,000 to promote business growth and job creation across the state.

Missoula County received two, $26,000 grants to help people find industrial growth opportunities, and help expand a home health care company.

Marcy Allen, of the Bitterroot Economic Development District, said they'll use one grant for an assessment on how well county-owned land could support new businesses.

"So, the county is sort of looking at what are their next steps and where can they help guide industrial growth," she said.

In the past, similar grants were used to develop the industrial park near Missoula International Airport, which Allen said is now near full.

"There's a lot of activity in the community, which is really exciting, which means that people are doing things and thinking about growing business."

The second grant will help a national health care company called Consumer Direct Management Solutions build an operations center in Missoula.

Allen added, "They expect to hire over 100 people in the next three years, so, this is sort of a planning piece in that first step of that job creation."

Allen said all this economic growth is part of a trend she's seen over the past year.

"So, you get a lot of innovation and creativity that happens during a recession and so I think we're seeing that result right now."

Allen said she's also seen an increase in the number of business owners writing grant proposals.

"I think the exciting thing for us is that we're seeing more and more companies having things that they want money for," she said.

The state also awarded money to developers in Butte, Broadwater County and Ravalli County.

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