Governor Steve Bullock today signed into law House Bill 52, one of his priority pieces of legislation which reauthorizes a set of tools that support business growth and entrepreneurship.
“The success of Montana’s economy over recent years is not by accident, it’s because of forward-looking policies that support the growth and development of our small businesses and entrepreneurs in every corner of the state,” Governor Bullock said. “The bipartisan reauthorization of these tools will strengthen this legacy for our small businesses and for our economy in the long-term.”
Since Governor Bullock’s time in office, the economic development tools reauthorized in HB 52 have leveraged assets of $667.5 million, have helped more than 15,000 small businesses expand their footprint, and have supported more than 12,000 jobs. The economic development tools were originally signed into law by Governor Marc Racicot in 2000 and renewed in 2009. The signing of HB 52 prevents the programs from sunsetting on July 1, 2019.
“It’s only appropriate that a bill to continue successful investments in small business growth and good-paying jobs across the state will be signed into law during Economic Development Week,” said Rep. Jim Keane (D-Butte), sponsor of HB 52. “This will allow us to utilize coal revenue for the next 8 years to ensure that Montana's economic development continues long into the future.”
The suite of eight tools reauthorized by HB 52 include technical assistance and grant programs housed at the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce:
- Small Business Development Centers
- Cooperative Development Centers
- Certified Regional Development Corporations
- Growth Through Agriculture
- Export Trade
- Small Business Research
- Montana Manufacturing Extension Center at MSU
- Food & Agricultural Development Centers