Following Tester Push, $2 Million Headed to Billings for Economic Development

Department of Commerce grant will help spur growth, create jobs in Yellowstone County

Following a push by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced today the Big Sky Economic Development Authority of Billings will receive a $2 million grant to support its Rock 31 Connect Build Grow business incubator. It is expected to create 95 jobs and generate $6.6 million in private investment.

Tester wrote a letter of support for the project in June to support the purchase and renovation of a historic building in downtown Billings, which will house the Rock 31 Connect Build Grow business incubator and spur economic activity in Billings.

“This is great news for folks looking to start and grow businesses in Billings,” Tester said. “This grant will help create jobs, spur economic development, and provide the needed boost folks need to get their businesses off the ground.”

The funding is administered through the Economic Development Administration, and will be matched with $2 million in local funds.

Tester is a longtime supporter of Big Sky EDA, a public-private partnership that aims to grow the region’s economy and improve quality of life by offering economic development services like the Small Business Development Center and Rock 31, which will provide training and resources to develop new businesses. In 2017 Tester helped locate a Veterans Business Outreach Center within Big Sky EDA to provide training and technical support to veteran-owned businesses and veterans considering starting a business.

Tester’s letter supporting the project is available HERE.