"Vibrant communities that are economically competitive, innovative and sustainable."
"Building community and economic capital in Central Montana."
Left to right: Carly Wheatley, Deputy Director; Abby Majerus, Food & Agriculture Development Center Director; Kaitlyn Gilmor, Project Manager; Cathy Barta, Redevelopment Director; Whitney Wallett, Fund Accounting Analyst; Josy Eades, Government Contracting Advisor; Center: Sara Hudson, Executive Director
Snowy Mountain Development Corporation serves six counties in Central Montana: Fergus, Judith Basin, Wheatland, Petroleum, Musselshell and Golden Valley. Home to nearly 22,000 people, the 12,328-square-mile area features a breathtaking mixture of plains and island mountain ranges, punctuated by rural communities. Agriculture, manufacturing and construction industries anchor the region's economy, where a number of landowners are among "America's 100 Largest Landowners."
Among the region's strengths are its historic structures and landmarks, industry diversification, recreational assets, natural resources, very low crime rates and high-quality educational opportunities.
SMDC leads, develops and implements the region’s development plan, known as its Comprehensive Development Strategy (CEDS). Through rigorous, regionwide planning and public involvement, SMDC reinforces the democratic aim of civic engagement to provide a CEDS that is representative of the residents and businesses it effects.
In 2001, a group of community-minded volunteers founded Snowy Mountain Development Corporation (SMDC) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to build community and economic capital in a six-county area comprised of Fergus, Judith Basin, Wheatland, Petroleum, Musselshell and Golden Valley Counties situated at the geographical heart of the State of Montana.
Local, state, and federal governments provide funding for SMDC to carry out this mission. Notably, the US Economic Development Administration recognizes SMDC as an Economic Development District and the State of Montana recognizes SMDC as a Certified Regional Development Corporation. With these designations is funding to support SMDC's partnerships with local governments, community organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs to implement key community and economic development projects.
Toward that end, through its three service centers, SMDC provides access to:
two financial products, namely, (a) gap financing with a 4-10% interest rate for working capital, fixed asset, debt refinancing, real estate purchases or leasehold improvements and (b) low interest rate financing to clean up contaminated sites;
three nonrepayable financial products, namely, planning grants, fuels mitigation grants, and brownfields assessments grants; and
a suite of development services, namely, free, confidential, one-on-one business counseling and training on all aspects of small business ownership, from start up to expansion; education and financial counseling for first time homebuyers; customized train-the-trainer programs; and leadership education and training.
Over the last decade, SMDC has made 63 loans for a total of $26,654,699; leveraged $507,884,176 in additional dollars; created or retained 1,414 jobs; and assisted 1,535 businesses. A recent Economic Impact Analysis showed that the overall impact of SMDC's programs and loans exceeded $600 million, including $102 million in induced and indirect benefits and supported more than 2,900 local jobs.
SMDC is a Montana Economic Developer's Association (MEDA) member organization. SMDC's central office is located in Lewistown, Montana.
SMDC is an equal opportunity provider, lender and employer.
Recently, we were struggling to draw down a payment from the IPP Federal payment system. After spending nearly a week unsuccessfully trying to secure our payment, we contacted SMDC's PTAC counselor. She troubleshot the problem with us and within approximately 24 hours, we had the problem resolved and the funding secured.
SMDC is an asset to the Central Montana region. They provided the technical assistance and gap financing I needed to start two new businesses in Lewistown, remodel two Main Street Historic properties and create over 30 jobs for the community.
CENTRAL FEED GRILLING
SMDC provided the leg work and assistance we needed to secure a training grant that gave our new business a solid launch. We have been well received and stand proud as a pivotal project. The beauty of our building remodel, steady patrons through the doors and excitement surrounding the park have given other projects in town momentum.