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State of Montana

02/18/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/18/2020 15:37

Governor Bullock, Lt. Governor Cooney Launch Database to Connect Rural Communities with Funding Resources

MONTANA - Governor Steve Bullock and Lt. Governor Mike Cooney today launched a comprehensive database that will host state and federal grant and loan opportunities that rural Montana communities can leverage to fund community and economic development projects across the state.

'The Community Development Funding Database will help communities, especially in rural areas, fully take advantage of over 100 funding opportunities to revitalize downtown areas, implement broadband, update aging infrastructure, and more,' Governor Bullock said. 'The searchable database will cut down time spent evaluating individual grant and loan requirements and quickly connect small towns with the resources they need to remain vibrant.'

'When traveling across the state, it was clear that many communities are wanting to move forward with important projects but are struggling to navigate the complex state and federal funding landscape,' Lt. Governor Mike Cooney said. 'The Main Street Montana Rural Partners project aims to equip every Montana community with the tools and resources they need to have equal economic opportunity and this database gets us one step closer to our goal.'

The need for the Community Development Funding Database was identified during visits facilitated by Lt. Governor Cooney to small towns during the Main Street Montana - Rural Partners initiative. The project to date has focused on six rural communities and Montana's tribal communities to look for ways to empower small towns and ensure economic opportunity exists across Montana.

There are a multitude of funding opportunities available through state and federal agencies, but community leaders across the state can have difficulty finding the right funding source for projects. While Montana's more urban areas are able to leverage the knowledge and experience of grant writers and people with development backgrounds, smaller communities often lack the capacity and expertise to fully take advantage of complex state and federal funding opportunities.

The Community Development Funding Database aggregates all the funding sources available and is searchable, which cuts down on the amount of time potential applicants will spend combing through each loan or grant's eligibility criteria on separate funding sites. The database has over 130 funding opportunities listed in the database and will be updated regularly. Applicants can search by the type of project, what kind of body or organization is searching for funding, funding source and type, population, and by agency.

The database can be found at mainstreetmontanaproject.com/resources

Governor Bullock and Lt. Governor Cooney launched the Main Street Montana - Rural Partners Initiative in September 2018. The Rural Partners project focuses on empowering small towns in Montana to stay ahead, support their efforts, and ensure economic opportunities are shared throughout the state.

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