From Montana Associated Technology Roundtables (MATR)
Montana?s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus announced September 16 a key element of his Small Business Jobs Act has unleashed up to $15 million in additional capital for small businesses across Montana. On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury approved Missoula-based Bank of Montana for the additional funds through the Small Business Lending Fund, a key part of Baucus? jobs initiative designed to help small businesses by providing capital to community banks.
The initiative is a key part of Baucus? Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 which is designed to help create the right economic conditions for small businesses to create jobs.
?Small businesses are the engine of Montana?s economy. This is great news for Montana as we pull out all the stops to give Main Street businesses the tools they need to drive our economy forward and supply the good-paying jobs we need right now,? said Baucus. ?Bank of Montana is already supporting the loans that Montana businesses need to expand and hire more people. I can?t wait to see what?s in store for Montana in light of this major influx of lending capacity.?
Bank of Montana anticipates a 65% increase in small business lending in the next 90 days, and it anticipates 100% increase over the next 6 months. Bank of Montana CEO and President Tom Swenson says they have immediately rolled out this new opportunity to small businesses.
?In Montana, most of our new jobs don?t come from big companies, they come from small businesses. Senator Baucus was essential in making sure the Small Business Loan Fund was a program that could be utilized by Montana companies and Montana banks,? Swenson said.
Through the Small Business Lending Fund, the U.S. Treasury has awarded Bank of Montana with nearly $1.5 million in bank equity. The program is designed to result in 10 times the original amount in funds and at full deployment will leverage $15 million in small business loans.
According to Swenson, the SBLF capital comes at a pivotal time for Bank of Montana to green-light important loans to several small- and mid-sized businesses in the community.
?We are financing new glass recycling equipment for a bottling company that now has plans to expand its business and hire 30 more workers. We are also working with a local auto dealer to finance energy efficient facilities and equipment that will help the dealership save real money and put it on solid footing for future growth. These projects are just two examples of how we are leveraging the SBLF investment to help our customers and our community,? said Swenson.
This month marks the one year anniversary since Small Business Jobs Act became law. In July 2011, another key element of the legislation, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, went into effect for Montana small businesses by bringing more than $100 million in new lending to the state.
To further support Montana businesses at the forefront of job creation, Baucus unveiled his Economic Engine Initiative this week aimed at elevating the profiles of Montana businesses that are growing and hiring new workers in the face of the economic downturn.