GREAT FALLS — An organization that helps businesses is hiring, thanks to funds focused on building economic stability.
Sarah Converse with Sweetgrass Development said economic development districts around the state received $400,000 that will be distributed over two years.
The money will help teams hire individuals who can focus on capacity building and planning.
Converse also said a big focus of their nonprofit agency is agriculture, and the money will enable them to help businesses in north and central Montana with growth policies and food sustainability.
Sweetgrass Development is smaller than the Great Falls Development Authority and their loan funds were tapped out before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
But they partner with GFDA and other agencies around the region to help business owners. Over the past six months, Sweetgrass leaders have been sharing important pandemic-related information with individuals and coaching new loan applicants.
“Trying to get through the processes, ‘I thought I did everything correctly with this app and I haven’t heard anything yet’ and so I help them follow up and some things like that,” she said.
Sweetgrass Development helps rural businesses in Cascade, Glacier, Teton, Pondera, and Toole counties along with the Blackfeet Reservation.