Small Business Grants In Montana

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by Lori Pace

Are you a small business owner in Montana looking for financial assistance to grow and expand your business? Look no further, as Montana offers a variety of small business grants that can help you achieve your goals.

In this article, we will explore the different grants available in Montana, the eligibility requirements, and how you can find the right grant for your small business.

Montana is committed to supporting and promoting the growth of small businesses. The state offers several grant programs designed to provide financial assistance to small businesses in various industries. Whether you want to start a new business, expand an existing one, or invest in employee training, grants are available to meet your specific needs.

These grants can provide you with the necessary funding to purchase equipment, hire new employees, develop marketing strategies, and much more. By taking advantage of these grants, you can give your business a competitive edge and position yourself for long-term success.

So, let’s dive in and explore the small business grants in Montana that can help you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. 

MTWBC Impact Grant

The MTWBC Impact Grant provides financial assistance to women-owned small businesses, helping them expand and make a lasting impact on the local economy. This program is targeted to help small businesses that are owned and operated by female entrepreneurs in the state of Montana.

The funding from this grant program is derived from donations and fund-raising events by Prospera Business Network. Eligible awardees from this program can use the grant money to fund various business projects that significantly impact the community and the local economy.

If you’re a small business owner in Montana looking for support and funding to take your business to the next level, the MTWBC Impact Grant can provide the resources you need to succeed. 

Big Sky Trust Fund (BSTF) Grants

The Big Sky Trust Fund (BSTF) Grants aim to offer assistance in two major areas – job creation and job planning. Through these grants, you can access financial and technical assistance to develop a solid business plan, secure a business loan or loan funds, and even explore venture capital programs. The BSTF grant can be used for specific business-related activities, including business expansion projects, new product design, and hiring new employees. 

The BSTF Job Creations Grant supports small businesses to create high-paying jobs. It is best for fast-growing enterprises seeking to fill in six or more new full-time employees in the next 12 to 24 months.

Meanwhile, the BSTF Planning Grant is intended to help small businesses get the funding they need to plan for business expansion, manufacturing projects, or conducting a feasibility study. The grant amount can be used to fund various expenses, including the hiring of engineers, architects, and other experts. 

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Grants

The Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Grants allow businesses to enhance the skills and knowledge of their existing workforce in Montana. These grants can help small businesses with fewer than 50 employees access funding to invest in employee training and development programs.

With the IWT grants, businesses can receive financial support to cover the costs of training programs, workshops, and resources. This program aims to support business growth and productivity by equipping employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to changing market demands.

By investing in workforce development, businesses can improve employee retention, increase competitiveness, and foster innovation. 

Rural Business Development Grants

The Rural Business Development Grants provide funding opportunities for expanding and improving businesses in rural areas, fueling economic growth and creating new opportunities for communities.

These grants are specifically designed to support small businesses in Montana, particularly those in the agriculture industry. With the help of these grants, businesses can cover startup costs, invest in equipment and infrastructure, and implement innovative strategies to enhance their operations.

In addition to the grant program, Montana also offers loan participation programs that allow agricultural producers to access credit through a local credit union.

This collaboration between grants and loan programs aims to stimulate economic growth, job creation, and the overall development of rural areas in Montana. 

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant

The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant is a federal government program offering up to 75% reimbursement for international marketing activities. It is specifically designed to help small businesses like yours access new markets and increase their global presence.

With this grant, you can receive financial support for activities such as trade shows, international business development trips, and foreign market research. By participating in the STEP Grant program, you can tap into valuable resources and funding to help your business thrive in the global marketplace. 


GrantWatch is a valuable resource that entrepreneurs can utilize to discover funding opportunities and unlock their potential for business growth. It provides a comprehensive platform for small business owners in Montana to access a wide range of grants and funding options.

Using GrantWatch, entrepreneurs can find various grants aligning with their business planning and goals. The platform offers a detailed database of funding opportunities, including information on eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and required documentation.

Additionally, GrantWatch provides various resources such as business services, workshops, and access to capital. This resource can greatly assist entrepreneurs in seeking additional capital to support their business goals and job creation efforts.

With its user-friendly interface and extensive database, GrantWatch is an essential tool for small business owners in Montana seeking capital funding and support to grow their businesses. 

Amber Grant for Women

The Amber Grant for Women is a valuable resource for female entrepreneurs in Montana looking to expand their businesses. This program provides business development resources, including business planning assistance and business workshops, to help you navigate the challenges of the business world.

With the support of the Amber Grant, you can access business investment programs and tap into the business lending market to secure the funding you need for growth. Additionally, the grant offers access to business services and a business programs specialist who can guide you through the process. 

Value-Added Producer Grants

Maximize your potential and seize the opportunity to boost your business with the Value-Added Producer Grants. These grants provide valuable funding to support agricultural producers in Montana.

As a small business in the agriculture industry, you can take advantage of these grants to expand your operations and increase your income. The Value-Added Producer Grants prioritize beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small or medium-sized farms, family farms, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and mid-tier value chains.

Through a national competition, grants are awarded to independent producers, agricultural producer groups, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. The funds can be used for planning activities such as feasibility studies and developing business plans, as well as working capital expenses like processing costs, marketing, and advertising expenses, and some inventory and salary expenses.

The Value-Added Producer Grants are a valuable resource to help you advance your agricultural business. 

Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program

The Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program in Montana offers agricultural producers and businesses the opportunity to access funding and support for their expansion and development initiatives. This program focuses on agriculture projects and is crucial to Montana’s small business development.

Through the GTA Program, businesses can apply for business grants and loan programs that can be used for various purposes such as business planning, equipment purchases, marketing, and more. Additionally, the program provides access to business counseling and support services through the Montana Department of Agriculture. 

Eligibility Requirements and Application Guidelines for Small Business Grants in Montana

Montana offers a wide range of grants for small businesses, providing an alternative to traditional loans. To be eligible for these grants, you must have a business entity registered in Montana and have a well-defined business plan. It’s essential to demonstrate how your business idea aligns with the long-term strategic plan for the state.

Additionally, community development organizations, such as the Butte Business Development Center, can provide valuable assistance in preparing your application.

Remember that additional state-specific requirements may exist, so thoroughly review the Montana Small Business Development office guidelines before applying.

These grants can be critical investments for small businesses seeking to grow and thrive in Montana. 

How to Find the Right Grant for Your Small Business

When looking for the right grant for your small business in Montana, it’s important to consider various factors. Start by contacting the Montana Small Business Development Center, which offers valuable resources and guidance for small businesses in the state.

Additionally, develop a long-term business strategic plan that outlines your goals and objectives, as this will help you identify grants that align with your vision. Explore the Montana Small Business Development Office, which provides information on grants and programs specifically tailored to small businesses.

Consider the breakdown of the Montana business sector and identify grants that cater to your industry. Collaborating with community development organizations and exploring collaborative projects that may provide commercial opportunities and potential grants is also beneficial.

By thoroughly researching and leveraging these resources, you can find the right small business grants in Montana that’ll support the growth and success of your venture. 

Alternative Resources for Small Businesses in Montana

Looking for other options to support your thriving venture in Montana? Check out these alternative resources that can help your small business flourish.

One resource to consider is the Butte Business Development Center, which offers various programs and services to assist businesses in their growth and development.

Another option is the Montana Small Business Development Center, which provides free counseling and training to entrepreneurs.

Additionally, the Office of Tourism and Business Development offers resources to help businesses in the tourism industry.

Community development organizations can also be a valuable resource, as they often support and assist small businesses in their local communities.

If you want to expand your business internationally, the US Commercial Service can provide guidance and resources to help you navigate the global market.

Lastly, consider exploring business credit cards, which can provide financial flexibility and rewards for your business.

Remember, it’s important to have a long-term business strategic plan and to stay informed about the business environment to make the most of these resources and opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can businesses apply for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant?

To apply for the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant, businesses can visit the program’s website and follow the application instructions. Be sure to provide all required documentation and meet the eligibility criteria. Good luck with your application!

How can businesses determine their eligibility for the Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Grants?

To determine eligibility for Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) grants, businesses can consult with business counselors or organizations like Prospera. They can provide guidance, assess qualifications, and assist in securing the funds.

Are any specific industries or sectors prioritized for the Rural Business Development Grants?

No specific industries or sectors are prioritized for the Rural Business Development Grants. These grants are available to all eligible small businesses in rural areas, regardless of industry or sector. 


In conclusion, if you’re a small business owner in Montana looking for financial support, numerous small business grants are available to you.

The Big Sky Trust Fund (BSTF) Grants, Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Grants, Rural Business Development Grants, State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grants, and Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program are just a few examples of the grants you can apply for.

Each grant has its own eligibility requirements and application guidelines, so it’s important to thoroughly research and understand the specific criteria for each grant before applying. These grants can provide funding for start-up costs, equipment purchases, or business expansion, offering a valuable opportunity for small businesses to secure the financial support they need.

Additionally, if you cannot qualify for a grant or are looking for alternative resources, other options are available for small businesses in Montana. These may include loans, mentorship programs, networking events, and business development resources. Exploring all avenues is essential to find the right resources that align with your business goals and needs.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to secure funding for your small business in Montana. Take advantage of the various grant programs and alternative resources available to you. Your business can thrive and succeed in the competitive market with the right support.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!