Eleven small Montana businesses have been awarded Workforce Recovery grants to bring employees back to work who were laid off due to impacts of the pandemic. The Montana Department of Commerce announced Thursday the businesses will share $195,000 to support the rehiring of 31 full-time employees.

“Commerce’s temporary Workforce Recovery program was launched to support businesses that are ready to bring jobs back,” Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “Businesses will be reimbursed for rehiring workers and sustaining those jobs into the future.”

The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Workforce Recovery program will reimburse a business for the wages of full-time, permanent jobs that are created and retained for at least six months, up to a maximum of 25 jobs per business. Businesses apply directly to the program. A reimbursement of up to $7,500 per job is available to businesses in high-poverty counties. The business must match $3,750 per job. A reimbursement of up to $5,000 per job, with a $5,000 match, is available for businesses in all other counties.

The following 11 businesses are the first to access the new temporary program and will rehire 31 employees:

Montana Monster Munchies, Bozeman, $20,000

Mountain Property Management, Inc., Bozeman, $15,000

Eagle Bear Inc., Browning, $22,500

Savvy LLC, Busby, $15,000

Enbar, Inc., Great Falls, $7,500

Rockwell Scales, Inc., Great Falls, $7,500

Koller, Inc., Kalispell, $5,000

Judy Niemeyer Quilting, Kalispell, $25,000

The Murray Condominium Association Inc, Livingston, $10,000

Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs & Resort, Saco, $30,000

Clarks Family Restaurant, Shelby, $37,500

The Workforce Recovery program is in direct response to supporting businesses impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The ability to create the temporary program has been made possible by a governor’s directive which allows for flexibility in the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund program. Funding for the temporary program comes from reverted BSTF Job Creation awards, it is not a replacement for or pausing of the well-established business development program.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been committed or December 31, 2020; whichever comes first. Apply at MARKETMT.COM/BSTF/WorkforceRecovery.

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