December 3, 2019

EDA: $2 Million Invested to Support Business Incubation and Workforce Training Efforts in Billings, MT Opportunity Zone

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Big Sky Economic Development Authority of Billings, Montana, to renovate an existing building to house the Rock 31 Connect Build Grow business incubator. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $2 million in local funds and is expected to help create 95 jobs and generate $6.6 million in private investment.

“The Trump Administration is committed to helping American entrepreneurs grow and succeed,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Rock 31 Connect Build Grow’s new state-of-the-art workspace will allow them to expand their ability to provide the technical assistance, skills training, and hiring resources that are so important to accelerating the establishment of new businesses ventures.”

“This project will renovate the Montana National Bank building to address the needs of the Billings business community,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “The new facility is expected to help ROCK31 Connect Build Grow spur nearly two dozen business startups and the project’s location in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will help revitalize the area and provide additional tax incentives for business development.”

“Montana entrepreneurs take risks to build their businesses, support our communities, and create good-paying Montana jobs,” said U.S. Congressman Greg Gianforte. “We should do everything we can to help them grow and thrive. This grant and the resulting new facility in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will help support and boost small business in Billings.”

The funding announced today goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

This post was originally published here.