Tester Secures $1.65 Million in Funding to Support Economic Recovery, Small Businesses in Northern Montana

Senator announces establishment of a Revolving Loan Fund for the Bear Paw Development Corporation

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that the Bear Paw Development Corporation will receive a $1.65 million Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to bolster economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and support small businesses in Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, Liberty, and Phillips Counties.

“The Bear Paw Development Corporation has worked to grow local economies and support small businesses in Northern Montana for more than five decades, so they know better than anyone what it’s going to take to help their communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tester. “This critical funding will help ensure that Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, Liberty, and Phillips Counties are able to bounce back from this crisis, and I’m proud to have worked to secure it.”

The funding is available through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will allow the Bear Paw Development Corporation to provide financing options and gap financing to small businesses impacted by the pandemic and support the development of new entrepreneurial business opportunities arising from, or related to, recovery or future resiliency. This will help businesses continue operations, retain and create jobs, strengthen the local economy, and advance economic resiliency.

Tester has worked tirelessly to get Montana communities the resources they need to get their local economies back on track amid coronavirus pandemic. He was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the American Rescue Plan after fighting to ensure that it provides targeted funding to the state’s local economies by directly providing small businesses and municipal governments with critical relief. Last week, he visited with business owners and community leaders in Great Falls and Kalispell to discuss how the legislation will directly benefit Montana communities.